Professor Igor Sokolov Discovers Why Skin Turns Leathery
Igor Sokolov's research results suggest that our skin becomes
more leathery as we age. He presented his latest research findings
at the Annual American Physical Society (APS) March meeting in
Scientists have known for a long time that human epithelial tissues
(skin, brain, liver, kidney, and other internal organs) lose elasticity
with aging. It has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many
progressive diseases of aging, including hardening of the arteries,
joint stiffness, cataracts, Alzheimer's and dementia. Previous
researchers believed that this aging process was caused by an
increase in crosslinking of extracellular matrix proteins that
normally provide elasticity. Many treatments of diseases caused
by cell elasticity loss have been based on this assumption. Prof.
Sokolov showed that the individual epithelial cells actually lose
Researchers hope Professor Sokolov's discovery can provide a
new direction for research into the treatment of age-related diseases
that involve loss of elasticity in epithelial tissues.
Professor Sokolov, together with Professor Woodworth of Clarkson
University's Department of Biology, is studying the mechanical
properties of human epithelial cells (those found in skin and
other tissues that line the surfaces in our body). Their work
shows that individual human epithelial cells become significantly
more rigid during aging in vitro. Using Atomic Force Microscopy
(AFM), they found that each cell has at least three areas of different
rigidity: the area over the nucleus, the cytoplasm, and the cell
edge. The Young's modulus for each area is consistently 2-4 times
higher in old cells than in young cells. (See
Figures 3 and 4.) Furthermore, they developed a novel
method for direct visualization of the cytoskeleton of aging cells
using the AFM. Using this method they can demonstrate that increased
rigidity is associated with a higher density of the cytoskeleton
fibers in both cytoplasmic and edge areas.
3 - Young Cells
4 - Old Cell
Professor Sokolov and Woodworth are currently investigating the
ways of decreasing the rigidity of old cells up to the level of
young ones. They have already shown that some cytotoxic drugs
can be used to reverse the loss of elasticity of epithelial cells
due to aging (patent pending).
This work was partially funded by a grant from the New York State
Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) and
National Science Foundation (NSF).
more information about Professor Igor Sokolov and his research,
please call him
at 315-268-2375 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Dorfman Joins CAMP as a Research Professor
Dr. Benjamin Dorfman (who is affiliated with NanoDynamics, Inc.,
a Corporate Member of CAMP) recently joined CAMP as a Research
Professor in the University's Department of Physics. Dr. Dorfman
has spent over 40 years exploring synergetic matters to combine
the best features of carbon (three-dimensional diamond-like network,
graphene nanoplanes, and possibly polymer-like chains) into one
solid structure. His early work (conducted in the former Soviet
Union in the1960s at the Laboratory for Solid State Physics and
Technology for New Generations of Computer Elements) resulted
with unstable diamond-like films. During the next 20 years, he
stabilized the diamond-like carbon matter with an interpenetrating
quartz-like network of atomic scale, and developed an appropriate
and commercially-sound technology. These materials represent multifunctional
coatings with combined properties such as scratch-, wear-, and
corrosion resistance, and low- friction in any humidity - including
deep water conditions. The coatings may be deposited on various
metals and alloys, semiconductors, plastics, ceramics, and glass.
During the last decade of the Soviet era, these stabilized diamond-like
coatings were successfully employed in three generations of computer
hard discs, in satellite and military electronics, optics, microelectronics
technology, medicine and domestic goods. Dr. Dorfman was awarded
a Gold medal for the best technological achievements in 1989.
In 1991, he left the USSR to continue his work in the U.S. He
filed the very first patent on nano-composites in the U.S. and
in the World. Later this patent was separated (upon request of
the USPTO) into two master patents for diamond-like nano-composites
(DLN) structure and technology.