Solid state hyaluronic acid lying on top of where it would be inserted into… (Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner )
Dermal fillers for facial wrinkles, such as Juvederm and Restylane, are a huge business in the United States. But researchers are already working on the next generation of fillers, which may include a solid, threadlike filler.
Stanford doctor Geoffrey C. Gurtner said Tuesday that a solid state hyaluronic acid filler was less painful and worked well in a study of 31 people. The research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Denver, was conducted in South America on patients seeking treatment for a variety of reasons, such as filling crows feet or forehead wrinkles or for lip volumizing and contouring.
The filler, which is about as thin as a strand of hair, is not technically an injectable. Instead it's placed with a needle into a facial line. Shortly after insertion, the thread becomes hydrated and morphs into a gel. Doctors involved in the study said it was easier and faster to place compared to injectable fillers and patients reported less pain.
The filler can be placed in the exact depth and position desired without spreading and is more predictable than other treatments, said Gurtner, the lead author of the study. That should allow for better results filling finer lines around the eyes and mouth and long, linear creases.
"This means consumers can have their forehead wrinkles removed and maintain forehead expression, which is currently prevented by the typical treatment paradigm of paralysis using a neurotoxin (Botox)," he said.
If misplaced, the material can be removed, he said. It is expected to have the same safety profile as hyaluronic acid gel and last about the same amount of time.
More longterm studies will be needed before the product can advance to the marketplace. But Gurtner said he anticipates the product may become available in 2013.
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