Go organic: grow your own injectables

July 28, 2011

The hope is that injecting your own fibroblasts will not only fill wrinkles, but also provide strength and elasticity.
The hope is that injecting your own fibroblasts will not only fill wrinkles, but also provide strength and elasticity.

As you read this, you may not know it, but you are growing your own filler. Here’s what happened to 57-year-old Janet David when she agreed to participate in a clinical trial using her own body tissues to fill her wrinkles: Tissue samples were taken from behind her ear and sent to a lab. Fibroblasts, cells that help give skin strength and elasticity, were isolated from the tissue, purified and then multiplied hundreds of millions of times in a vitamin-enriched growth medium. Three months later David had her harvested fibroblasts injected into the lines of her nasolabial folds in the hope that this cocktail would produce fresh collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid——the stuff of eternal youth——for years to come.

This technique, now FDA approved, is called laViv and marketed by Fibrocell Science, a Pennsylvania biotech company. A Florida dermatologist conducting clinical trials since 2006 has been impressed with laViv’s ability to smooth nasolabial folds and acne scars. He sees future applications head to toe to “improve pigmentation, scarring and sagginess, not only on the face but on the hands, arms and legs,” but advises laViv will not plump you up the way that fat does.

Margaret Weiss, assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who conducted David’s clinical trial, admits that laViv is not a quick fix; it can take three to four months to see results. However, “with typical hyaluronic acid fillers you may need to come in once or twice a year. With LaViv, you might need two or three sessions and, for at least two years, that’s that.”

David, interviewed in the July issue of Vogue, reports, “The area where I was injected for the study, in my nose-to-mouth-lines………well, there are no lines there now and this was after only three sessions. Seven years ago!”

Plastic surgeons have many options to treat nasolabial folds, including collagen and dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse. For more information on the injectable treatment that will give you the most mileage, contact a board-certified plastic surgeon at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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