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Improving skin resilience with moss cell technology
22-Apr-2018 Last updated on 18-Apr-2018 at 12:02 GMT
About 470m years ago mosses were one of the first plants that moved out of the water and conquered the earth. Mosses possess no vertical roots and have a high surface area which makes it difficult for them to replenish lost water and nutrients from the soil. Therefore, mosses filter nutrients from the air and rain which makes them susceptible to the accumulation of pollutants such as heavy metals. In order to cope with the oxidative stress from pollution, mosses developed a particular anti-pollution matrix with a large set of antioxidants. The development of a specialized adaptation strategy was also needed for mosses to inhabit various climatic regions. They are masters in water retention, rehydration, fast recovery and cold resistance. It has recently been shown that mosses are even able to continue to grow after being frozen for 1,500 years in permafrost. The special mix of molecules that enables such resilience is of interest to the cosmetic industry.
MossCellTec – Biotechnology to grow moss sustainably in the lab
Although resilient, mosses grow slowly and are thus often under protection and cannot be harvested in the wild. Additionally, wild mosses filter the air and retain toxins that prevent their use in cosmetics. To make the adaptation skills of mosses available to cosmetics, a biotechnology to grow the plants in a laboratory setting was developed. A sterile protonema culture of the wild-type moss Physcomitrella patens in liquid culture was produced. Additionally, a new cold pressing extraction method was established to harvest all water soluble ingredients from the moss cells which were then sprayed on an isomalt matrix resulting in the active MossCellTec No.1. For the first time, moss cells that are biotechnologically produced in a clean and sustainable way can be used for cosmetics.