Engineering A Second Skin

Synthetic second skin made worldwide headlines this week as a fountain of youth material solution to wrinkles and other skin problems.

Developed by researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School this ‘new, elastic wearable crosslinked polymer’ mimics youthful skin can be applied to skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and bags. Although researchers are currently exploring its use as a cosmetic product, the team believe it could also be used to deliver drugs to deliver medicines as well as protect against the sun.

Researchers say that beyond making you look good, it can be used to hold topical medicines in place. MIT scientist Dr. Robert Langer says: ‘One set of things might be in cosmetics, where you’d use it to tighten skin in different parts of the body. Another could be for therapeutics, where you’d use it as a whole new kind of plastic ointment that could be used to deliver drugs to the skin to treat different skin diseases.’

This so called second skin is also extremely breathable and comfortable. Its creators explain that the film is able to temporarily lock in moisture in order to boost skin elasticity. Essentially invisible, they add it can be worn all day without resulting in skin irritations and can withstand sweat and rain.

You can watch this latest material innovation in action here.