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New research areas

Digital Device research

■Development of "Optune," a skincare system that makes skin care personalization a reality

In recent years, there are more and more women seeking a balance between work and home life, and an increasing number of them cannot spend time on daily skincare. Skin conditions can vary each day due to external factors such as weather, as well as internal factors including sleeping condition and stress.
Based on these circumstances, leveraging skin data collected for many years and research results of aroma and product usability and combining IoT-based digital technology, Shiseido has developed a new skincare brand "Optune."

■Development of Invisible VR "Caico," exhibited at SXSW2019,

Visual sensory information can be controlled by RGB (3 primary colors: red, green, and blue), and auditory sensory information can be controlled by physical parameters such as the range of acoustic waves; however, olfactory sensory control is difficult to implement.
This time, Shiseido developed entertainment contents that are enjoyed through auditory and olfactory senses using a newly developed information communication technology, in collaboration with NHK Enterprises, sound artist evala, and Aromajoin, which offers technologies to develop devices that can implement scent information communication. Specifically, it allows users to experience scents that are linked with stereophonic sounds lasting for roughly 7 minutes while their visual perception is blocked with eye masks, etc.
Shiseido used its aroma blending technologies to create scents from words by verbalizing various scenery sounds, such as "the sound of a river flowing" and "the sound of insects flying" produced by sound artists, based on impressions from the five senses except olfactory sense.

Caico,

Beauty Wellness research

■Siberian ginseng works on lymphatic vessels to improve 'swelling'

Shiseido has also been engaged in research aimed at promoting and maintaining beauty and health from within our body. Such research has led us to discover that Siberian ginseng, which has long been known as a herbal medicine having an effect to prevent physical and mental fatigue, has an effect of remarkably improving "swelling" of the lower extremities.
It was also revealed for the first time in the world that Eleutheroside E, an ingredient abundantly contained in Siberian ginseng, strengthens the lymphatic vessel and improves its function. Since lymphatic vessels are responsible for collecting water and wastes products, it is believed that the improvement of leg swelling might be due to the action of Siberian ginseng to strengthen lymphatic vessels.
Shiseido has ample knowledge regarding the relationship between blood vessels and lymphatic vessels of the skin and beauty. We will continue to further advance our research relating to capillaries and lymphatic vessels, which are central to our inner and outer beauty, playing an important role not only inside the body but also for the skin.

D-amino acid research

Almost all amino acids, which we are familiar with in our daily lives, can be devided into D-form (D-amino acid) and L-form (L-amino acid). These forms are related in a way that they are mirror images of one another, in while they have absolutely same atomic components. This is similar to our right and left hands. Until now, it has been believed that L-amino acids mainly exist in humans and have functions. However, an analytical technology Shiseido has developed with Kyushu University revealed for the first time that several free D-amino acids are present in the human skin. This finding has sparked investigations into the physiological functions of D-amino acids in the skin, uncovering the effect of D-glutamic acid promoting recovery of skin barrier function, as well as the effect of D-aspartic acid promoting the formation of collagen fiber bundles. Since these functions are essential for maintaining the moisture of the skin and for achieving a skin with resilience and elasticity, we are advancing our study to the application stage of the development of cosmetic products. In addition, brown rice black vinegar produced througha traditional fermentation way was found to contain extremely high amount of D-amino acids with appropriate balance, and it has been applied to beauty foods.

■Hair Regenerative Medicine

Shiseido has been collaborating with University Hospitals on a clinical study on the establishment of “hair regenerative medicine technology” in Japan. This technology is the world’s leading technology in hair regeneration. After culturing dermal sheath cup cells (which are considered to be the source of hair dermal papilla cells which play an important role in the growth of hair) from the scalp skin of the patient concerned about pattern baldness and thinning hair, they are implanted (injected) into the balding scalp skin to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles as well as promote the growth of healthy hair.*
Regenerative medicine refers to the treatment method in which tissue/cells of human origin are implanted into patients who cannot be treated by existing methods, with the expectation of self-renewing capability. There are two types of implantation: “autologous cell implantation” in which the cells of the relevant patient are utilized and “allogeneic cell implantation” in which the cells of other people are utilized. The technology Shiseido is working on is autologous cell implantation technology, which is considered to have fewer side effects regarding immune rejection, etc. and higher safety than allogeneic cell implantation.
With regard to pattern baldness and thinning hair, presently a hair growth/regrowth agent for external application and oral treatment agent with an androgen suppression effect are put into practice. However, there are some issues, such as the facts that topical dosage is limited for females and oral treatment agents are not applicable to female patients. The introduction of this technology is expected to lesson the physical burden caused by surgical procedures, reduce rejection reaction risks after cell implantation, and be applicable to all patients regardless of gender. Thus, concerned persons look forward to the technology being widely utilized as soon as possible.
Safety level and improvement effects were confirmed in a clinical study conducted by Tokyo Medical University from 2016 to 2019 using our autologous cell culture processing technology.
A further clinical study aiming at practical application will be conducted in the future.

  • * Shiseido established SPEC® (the Shiseido cell Processing and Expansion Center) in the KOBE Biomedical Innovation Cluster in 2014, and has been providing dermal sheath cup cells (S-DSC™) which are cultured and processed with our unique/patented technology.