An entirely new breed of filler may soon be on the way – eco-friendly, biodegradable, and (yes, you read that right) made from silk.
US-based company Silk Medical Aesthetics Inc, a division of Silk Inc, has announced the development of a “biocompatible liquid silk technology that is the first all-natural biomaterial platform for injection into the skin.” Created as an alternative to traditional hyaluronic acid filler, this substance is a liquid suspension of Activated Silk; pure silk protein from the thread of silkworm cocoons, and is designed to treat wrinkles of the face and hands as well as address acne scarring. Reportedly, the technology can be altered to last anywhere between three months to two years.
According to Greg Altman, co-founder of Silk Inc, the all-natural concept behind the unique filler substitute also applies not only to the product but the manufacturing process and the facilities themselves, including the utilisation of solar power, and the avoidance of any chemical preservatives.
The silk’s biocompatibility means that it can seamlessly integrate into clients’ natural collagen networks, subsequently providing a natural looking result, and as speculated by some, decreased levels of inflammation post-injection.
While an incredibly exciting development, it is important to note that the long term effects of the solution are not currently known or tested, with clinical trials set to begin this year, and market availability expected around 2022.
Some experts, though many are still speculative whilst results remain unclear, are excited by the concept, including US Dermatologist Papri Sarkar. “Although silk is made naturally, people can still have reactions to naturally made products. We’ve definitely seen reaction to silk sutures, aka stitches, in the past, but I’m sure these fillers have a different structure than stitches. In contrast, hyaluronic acid—the most common filler ingredient that’s used in the U.S. right now—is something that is already present in our skin, which is why people think there are such low reactions to it. But it’s a really exciting time to be a practicing dermatologist right now because we have so many options available and so many new ones coming down the road.”
Stay tuned – we will bring you further updates on the trials as they develop!