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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.


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 two University Hospitals on a clinical study on the establishment of “hair regenerative medicine technology” in Japan. This technology is the world’s leading hair regeneration/patented technology. After culturing the dermal sheath cup cells (which are considered to be the source of hair dermal papilla cells that play an important role in the growth of hair) isolated from the patient concerned about pattern baldness and thinning hair, they are implanted (injected) into the balding scalp skin to rejuvenate the damaged hair follicles as well as promote the growth of healthy hair. Regenerative medicine refers to the treatment method, in which tissues/cells of human origin are implanted into the patients who cannot be treated by existing treatment methods, and curing by self-renewing capability is expected. There are two types of implantations: “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 the autologous cell implantation technology, which is considered to have fewer side effects of immune rejection, etc. and higher safety level than allogeneic cell implantation. With regard to the pattern baldness and thinning hair, presently hair growth/regrowth agent for external application and oral treatment agent with androgen suppression effect are put into practice. However, there are some issues including the facts that limited topical dosage exists for females and oral treatment agents are not applicable to female patients. The introduction of this technology is expected to have less physical burden due to surgical procedures, reduce rejection reaction risks after cell implantation, and be applicable to all patients regardless of gender. Therefore, the concerned persons look forward to the technology being widely utilized as soon as possible.
Tokyo Medical University starts clinical study on the establishment of hair regenerative medicine technology

Link to Tokyo Medical University in Japanese