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Photoshop is coming to your face…

We’ve got used to photo retouching. Using Photoshop actresses, and all of us, can get rid of wrinkles and "eye bags".
A few have taken the road of plastic surgery to remove crow’s feet and in general the signs of age, others are using botulin… The business is huge (Americans spent over 2B$ in 2014 on botox).
Now an article on Nature describe the results of a research carried out at the MIT with participation of a team of Harvard researchers that works like Photoshop … directly on your face.
Instead of using a brush on a digital picture to smooth and cancel wrinkles, you can use a real brush to layer a special liquid on your skin. The liquid solidifies and creates a second, elastic and permeable skin, that smooths the wrinkles and flattens eye bags. You can see the result in the photo, where the "paint" was applied on the right part of the face (the left side of the picture). Impressive indeed!
They have modified siloxanes, a chemical binding one atom of oxygen with two atoms of silicon, to create an extremely thin, and porous polymer layer that sticks to the skin, without causing any irritation. You actually need to "paint" your face twice. First with the siloxanes solution, and then with another chemical that drives the siloxanes to acquire the desired structure. By changing the structure one changes the properties of the layer, hence its field of application.
Besides using it to smooth wrinkles, one could paint one’s face (or any other part of the body) with a modified version to get protection from sunlight. The protection remains even if you go swimming…
Other foreseen applications are in curing some skin pathologies, like psoriases and eczema.
By working at molecular level the researchers are able to create a material with the desired properties. Another amazing fit of modern chemistry.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.