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A scalp environment supported by electroporation such as newly patented technology MFIP

Electroporation that attracts attention

Hospital Director Sotaro Kurata, at Kurata Clinic in Beppu, Oita, who has been involved in the research on hair for a long time and who is the permanent executive board member of the Japan Society of Clinical Hair Restoration, says “Electroporation and iontophoresis, in which the growth factors responsible for inducing the hair growth can be transported closest to the dermal papilla or hair matrix cells at the hair roots, are the effective methods for the treatment of thinning hair and for the hair growth.” Electroporation, originally a type of biotechnology, is a cosmetic technology to which electroporation system is applied. It is used to create the gaps between the cells using specifically strong electric pulses of short duration to the skin and allow hydrophilic and polymeric substances, which generally cannot permeate the skin, to be introduced beneath the dermis in a non-ionized polymeric form. It is the technology to effectively transport the growth factors that are hardly permeated when just applied on the skin to the subcutaneous. The company which conducts research and develop the electroporation technology in the cosmetic field is Artistic & Co, located in Hashima-city, Gifu. We asked Mr. Hideki Kondo, the Representative Director, and Hospital Director Lim Jong Hak at Kairos Aesthetic Clinic, who is the President of the Korea Academy of Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine, and who gives useful advices for the electroporation technology, to talk about their stories.

Difference between medical devices and cosmetic devices

How do cosmetic devices differ from medical devices?

近藤英樹 社長

Kondo:Cosmetic devices are basically medical devices in a different form. However, it does not mean that the capabilities of medical devices are just made into lower version in cosmetic devices, rather it means that the specific characteristics of medical devices are transformed into smaller version in cosmetic devices. In the process of the development of a medical device, when a new technology is discovered, it can be the development of a cosmetic device. A new cosmetic device can be developed after repeated trials and errors, for example, through the process of creating a new waveform or electrode. Even now, I just repeat a test in front of a device for several days straight to find out if electrodes can be used as the tapping of fingers like those of an esthetician. Since I actually try the tapping technique for myself, my face always looks puffy. Skin sensation is very important with cosmetic devices, so I conduct such a test throughout the night.

So, skin sensation is important.

Kondo:Medical devices can be used just to get the results, even they can generate pain, while cosmetic devices are developed to be used by general customers. When used, cosmetic devices must make customers feel refreshed and want to use again, or they are not called cosmetic devices. Based on that, the effects of those devices after using them are very important. Any newly-developed cosmetic devices are always tried on approximately 100 doctors to obtain evidence in a proper manner. The name of our products containing “Dr.” means “the results of those products were approved by doctors.”
As for the cosmetic device “Beaustage” co-developed by Aderans, this product also went through so many skin tests performed by many aesthetic surgeons and dermatologist and obtained sufficient evidence before its production to provide our customers with the hair growth technique as well as the definite skin theory.

Asia Anti-Aging Aesthetic Association

President Kondo also played a central role in establishing the General Incorporated Association Asia Anti-Aging Aesthetic Association. What was the purpose of the establishment of this association?

Kondo:The mission of the Asia Anti-Aging Aesthetic Association is “to further deepen our knowledge about and improve our skills for anti-aging and cosmetic science by integrating those themes into medical care by all the professionals involved in those fields.” Members of this organization include Dr. Lim Jong Hak, the aesthetic surgeon; Dr. Kurata, the permanent executive board member of the Japan Society of Clinical Hair Restoration; as well as many other aesthetic surgeons and dermatologists, estheticians, cosmetic-related (including hair) engineers, and cosmetic-related companies. The cosmetic industry used to face some issues, including the existence of unlicensed estheticians who performed medical services as if they were medical care professionals. That is why we decided to set up the proper organization and organize seminars for the lecture courses given by medical care professionals to provide cosmetic-related individuals with a learning opportunity in a proper manner.

Why is it called “Asia” Anti-Aging Aesthetic Association?

Kondo:Such an organization in Japan could be called “Japan Anti-Aging Aesthetic Association.” However, we wanted to have Dr. Lim Jong Hak, who leads the aesthetic surgery in South Korea join in this organization. Also, there are many wonderful doctors in China like Dr. Lim Jong Hak. It is important to have those doctors in Japan as well as in the whole Asian join in this association.
No estheticians used to be given any lectures by medical care professionals in Japan or the top-class medical care professionals in their respective fields such as Dr. Lim Jong Hak. The questions raised at the seminars or inquiries from estheticians around the nation can be all answered by those doctors. What we want is to maintain the cosmetic industry in a wholesome manner.

Situation of the cosmetic industry in South Korea and Japan

Dr. Lim Jong Hak, you have been a leading medical care professional in the aesthetic surgery in South Korea. What is the difference between the cosmetic industry in Japan and that in South Korea?

Lim Jong Hak 院長

Lim Jong Hak:Well see…when South Korean people find out that a new good aesthetic item is out on the market, they just buy it or try it on quickly. In Japan, safety and satisfaction are so important that people wait until someone try it and its results become available. In that sense, people have different types of questions to the cosmetic-related parties. For example, in South Korea, “How effective is this? How long does its effect last?” In Japan, “Is it safe? Is there any side effect?” I think Japan is 1 to 2 years behind on the aesthetic trends compared to South Korea because Japanese people act wisely and slowly.

Speaking of the number of patients who undergo cosmetic procedures, does South Korea have the higher number of patients than Japan?

Lim Jong Hak:Do you think so? The number of Japanese patients is almost the same as that of South Korean patients. Japan has a larger population and market. South Koreans are open to those procedures, which are noticeable. On the other hand, Japanese have closed-off attitudes, so they secretly undergo the procedures, not saying to anyone. In that sense, there are more Japanese than South Korean. In South Korea, you visit an aesthetic surgeon with your friends, but in Japan, you may worry about other people and secretly go there by yourself.

Effects of a newly patented MFIP

A new product “Beaustage Vegas Premium” co-developed by Aderans is equipped with the MFIP (Mid Frequency Interval Pulse) in the electroporation technology. I believe that you were involved in the development of the MFIP.

Lim Jong Hak:We were provided with a device equipped with medium frequency continuous wave pulses by President Kondo, so Dr. Kurata and I performed some experiments using it. The results showed that the penetration rates obtained using that device were higher than those with a laser, the medical device. It has already been presented at some scientific meetings and is currently under investigation to find out which growth factor can be used to achieve better effect. Using MFIP, you can achieve effect more than what you can expect with the medical device, which made me think the cosmetic device that company had developed was unbelievable.

Kondo:More specifically, the electrical pulse equipped with the device is called “T-MFIP” that can send 3 types of electric currents with different functions, including the ultrapulse current that can stimulate polymeric substances such as hyaluronic acid, the EMS current that can act on the muscle such as the mimetic muscle, and the middle- and high-frequency than can generate heat. Those 3 types of electric currents are sent out from 4 heads at the tip of the device. Generally, electroporation can cause pain, which is unbearable. However, this cosmetic device does not cause pain, but comfort.

So, electroporation can cause pain.

Kondo:Yes, and it is painful. MFIP was developed to remove pain that electroporation can cause and change it to comport.

Lim Jong Hak:Laser can also cause pain and electroporation can cause strong stimulation. However, MFIP can intermittently send an electric pulse to make polymeric substances penetrate in a warm and soft manner, like a soft touch massage by hands, so it causes no pain.

Cosmetic device that challenges other products to be their most effect device in the world

Kondo:We received some advices from Dr. Kurata, a hair expert, on the product “Beaustage Vegas Premium” co-developed by Aderans. This product is also equipped with red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) other than MFIP. This product ended up being very high-level product to be used for hair, the face, and the body.

The colors of the LEDs seem to be very effective for the human body. Dr. Hak, what do you think of LEDs?

Lim Jong Hak:The effects of LEDs are different depending on their colors. In the plastic and aesthetic surgeries, red and yellow colors are often used. The red color can reach so deep that it can easily stimulate the dermal papilla, while the yellow color is said to be effective for regeneration. In the dermatology, the yellow color is said to be also effective for sweat glands. For the treatment of acne, the blue color is used, and for my treatment method, I have been using the yellow LEDs for 10 years.

From the cosmetic device developer’s perspective, what do you think of LEDs?

Kondo:We are very interested in the effects of LEDs. There are more than 100 types of colors that LEDs can actually emit. We are conducting research on the effects of over 100 types of colors and the hormones they can produce.

Could you please describe your perspective on the development at Artistic & Co, including a new electroporation technology?

Kondo:The best-selling cosmetic device in Japan is the product that costs 30,000 to 40,000 yen per unit manufactured by a major company. We want to make a cosmetic device that can make everyone satisfied after use and feel that it is worth the price. However, we cannot just say it is a great cosmetic device. We need our partner doctors’ cooperation to verify its effects and conduct a considerable number of tests on the safety of the cosmetic device. By doing all this, we collect the evidence on the different types of data. For electroporation, we need to know how much it can affect the penetration rates. We develop a cosmetic device which can prove such a question. However, if it is too effective, it ends up becoming a medical device. By maintaining its efficacy to the level of a cosmetic device, when we know for sure that the product is safe, we decide to sell it.

Dr. Hak, what is your specialty?

Lim Jong Hak:In anti-aging medicine, there are aesthetic surgery and regenerative medicine. My specialty is stem cells. Stem cells can standardize the immune function. I am expecting the emergence of a cosmetic device using the stem cell culture medium one day.

Interviewer/writer: Akiyoshi Sato Photographer: Kuninobu Akutsu, Naoyuki Tamura

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