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Everything can be described
by mathematics.

Complex natural phenomena, markings of living things,
and more -- mathematical formulas know the secrets of our world.

Natural phenomena can be explained by mathematical formulas?!

Flocks of birds flying in the sky. Varying cloud formations. Waves rolling in and out.
The latest method that unravels these phenomena is the mathematical model.
The mathematical model is used in forecasting the results of certain phenomena, and vice versa, in identifying causes, by expressing various information in numeric and mathematical formulas and simulating them with computers. Weather and economic forecasts are examples of areas familiar to us that utilize mathematical models.

Cutting-edge skin research using mathematical modeling.

The mechanisms that lead to symptoms such as sensitive skin, aging of the skin, itching caused by atopic dermatitis or senile xerosis have not yet been fully understood. Shiseido has taken a completely different approach to conduct a cutting-edge research that fuses together dermatology, mathematical modeling, and computer simulation.


This research has been recognized for its importance and potential by the Japanese Government, and was selected for Japan's Strategic Basic Research Programs “CREST,” and a joint research had started in October 2010 with a team led by Professor Nagayama, the Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University.
Incidentally, the iPS cell research conducted by Professor Shinya Yamanaka, Kyoto University, is also part of the CREST program.

A number of achievements in this new field of research.

In the dermatology study, there was no remarkable precedent in full-fledged research that used mathematical models and computer simulations for the purpose of improving skin diseases. Shiseido’s joint research was the first in the world to express specific phenomena on the skin with a mathematical model, and was also successful in reproducing these on a computer, via simulations.
As an actual case in point, take a look at the skin recovery process after a barrier breakdown has occurred.

Mathematical model and computer simulation video

A simulation that shows the recovery process of the broken-down stratum corneum, based on a mathematical formula in which skin irritation is transmitted.

  • A mathematical formula in which skin irritation is transmitted
    This is a mathematical formula that expresses the change in the calcium ion intracellular concentration (ci) that is thought to be related to the maintenance and recovery of the stratum corneum, along with the extracellular ATP (adenosine triphosphate) concentration (A) and the intracellular IP3 (inositol trisphosphate) concentration (Pi) that it is linked with.
  • Computer simulation
    The simulation shows the recovery process of the stratum corneum (the white area) from its broken-down state by combining the upper mathematical formula in which irritation is transmitted and the cell motility mathematical model.
    It depicts the phenomena※, from cell breakdown to recovery, of the skin cells that are born in the inner skin’s (pink) upper stratum basale (green) and their cell motility as they divide and become the stratum corneum. ※When the stratum corneum breaks down and comes into contact with air, calcium ions increase in the dermis cells, and the repetitive pattern of fluctuation of the concentration (blue: low concentration, red: high concentration) becomes visible; this promotes the stratum corneum’s recovery. When the stratum corneum recovers, these phenomena abate. Now, you can see the localization of calcium ions in the dermis cells right below the stratum corneum. This is a phenomenon notable in stratum corneum under normal condition.

The world's first visualization of the inner skin

To verify the validity of the simulation, a “two-photon laser microscope” was utilized and we were the first in the world to succeed in observing the three-dimensional structure of the nerve fibers (without any incisions) within the human skin “as is.”

With the ability to verify the mathematically-modeled computer simulation with the real image video showing the inside of the skin, it has become possible to comprehend skin phenomena more accurately.

The three-dimensional video of inside of the human skin

The future of skin research and treatment visualized by
complementary analysis of mathematical formulas and real imaging

Shiseido is continuing research so that it can reflect its achievements in the production of not only anti-aging and sensitive skin cosmetics, but also to counter the skin diseases mentioned above. Since the skin is an organ that covers the entire body and conveys external information to inside the human body, we are also pursuing that a goal of this research to reveal the relationship between the dermal health and the systemic physiology, influence of emotions, and to establish medical care for the entire body and the mental health medicines with the skin as the point of action.