Exosome Therapy May Enable Better Repair of Age-Damaged Skin

Posted on 8 September 2019

In a proof-of-concept study, researchers from North Carolina State University have shown that exosomes, harvested from human skin cells, are more effective at repairing sun-damaged skin cells in mice than popular retinol or stem cell-based treatments currently in use.

The team compared improvements in skin thickness and collagen production after treatment. They found that skin thickness in 3D exosome treated mice was 20% better than in the untreated and there was 30% more collagen production in skin treated with the 3D exosomes than in the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treated skin, which was the second most effective treatment.

I think this study shows the potential for 3D exosomes to be used in anti-aging skin treatments. Our hope is that eventually people may be able to ‘bank’ skin samples and come back to them, or use donor exosome treatments that they can administer themselves. We believe that this work is an important step toward potentiating future human clinical trials in the prevention and treatment of cutaneous aging.

Ke Cheng, a corresponding author


  1. Shiqi Hu, Zhenhua Li et al. Needle-Free Injection of Exosomes Derived from Human Dermal Fibroblast Spheroids Ameliorates Skin Photoaging. ACS Nano, 13, 10, 10 2019. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b04384
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