Even the world of cosmetic procedures is going green.
Silk Medical Aesthetics Inc., a spin-out of Silk. Inc, has developed Activated Silk, a biocompatible liquid silk technology that is the first all-natural biomaterial platform for injection into the skin. The Medford, Mass.-based laboratory created the pure silk suspended in liquid to be used as an injectable dermal filler for purposes such as filling in wrinkles in the face and hands and treating acne scars. The technology can be tailored to last from three to 24 months.
Most dermal fillers presently available on the market are hyaluronic-acid-based, and often contain chemical preservatives to extend the life of the filler. Silk. Inc.’s patented Activated Silk is made from the thread of silkworm cocoons and manufactured inside Silk’s Boston-based facilities via what Silk Inc. cofounder Greg Altman described as an “all-natural system” using solar power and mulberry leaves. The process from end-to-end makes the technology entirely sustainable.
“There’s two aspects to sustainability [in general],” said Altman. “[First off], the material itself doesn’t drain the earth of natural resources, and number two — when you start synthesizing plastic and other polymers [to use as preservatives] that are not natural, you end up using chemistry that can pollute the water. Once we put it into existence, it never goes away — it goes into our water supply and food chain and back into our bodies. On both accounts, Activated Silk is a home run [for sustainability].”
Altman noted that Activated Silk is less likely to produce in an inflammatory response in the body because of its biocompatibility, meaning less redness and swelling after injection, and could result in a more natural look and feel than an injectable with high concentrations of hyaluronic-acid filler.
Activated Silk will begin to undergo clinical trials for FDA approval next year, and is expected to come to market by 2022.
Silk Medical Aesthetics is a new division of Silk Inc., which specializes in creating biomaterials. Silk Medical Aesthetics recently completed an $8 million series A round of funding led by Silk. Inc. board member Jeff Vinik, former manager of Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, co-owner of Cascade Investment of Strategic Property Partners and principal owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.