Elastic Skin Regeneration

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like not being able to do basic movements like smiling, talking, walking, or even moving your fingers? Some burns patients struggle with this every day.


Scarring in the skin after experiencing burns not only affects the patients' physical appearance, it poses a limitation on their every motion. This is because elastin, the protein responsible for elasticity in our skin does not regenerate properly once it is damaged. Without elasticity, skin cannot stretch and recoil back to its original form, limiting our every movement. In adults, once elastin is damaged, it does not heal properly, which is why scars are so stiff.


200, 000 people suffer from a range of burns in Australia every year. Surprisingly, there has not been much attention or studies on elastin. However, so far, the Weiss Lab at the University of Sydney has introduced elastin back into wounded skin which has helped the resulting skin to heal better. Elastin has also been observed to accelerate wound repair. Although this technology has been shown to improve wound healing, full recovery of the skin to its original form has not yet been achieved. 


Pearl Lee, a PhD candidate in the Weiss lab is using human skin cells in the laboratory to understand how elastin is interacting with our cells in the body to heal wounds. Based on the understanding of this crucial process, we would be able to develop advanced technologies that allow the full recovery of skin.

How The Funds Will Be Used

The funding from this campaign would be put towards supporting young researchers to do new studies with elastin including new ways to help repair damaged skin. This includes scholarships and salaries for researchers. The funding would also be put towards getting the relevant reagents and materials to make synthetic forms of human elastin. Each tier of the pledge describes what each amount represents in terms of translating it to the practical lab spaces.

The Challenges

Our research involves developing a good understanding of how elastin is working in our bodies. This knowledge is crucial to developing advanced technologies that would improve the recovery of skin. In an era where scientific funding is scarce, there has been more emphasis on an end product or prototype and therefore there is less funding being channelled into basic research. However, by understanding the fundamental mechanisms of how wounds are being healed through elastin, only then could advanced technologies be developed.


The methods we have in place is well established. However reagents needed to carry out the project are expensive and therefore not a lot of attention has been paid towards this aspect so far, as there is no "immediate product". Understanding how elastin is working in our bodies to regenerate skin will be the main focus of the laboratory if this funding is granted. 

Portal Closed
Unsuccessful in meeting the target on 7th Jul 2017 at 1:00am.
AU$25 +Donation to Elastin researchThis would enable us to buy equipment required to synthesize human elastin.
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableExpected to run July 2017
AU$50 +Donation to Elastin researchThis would enable us to buy the reagents required to synthesize elastin.
2 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableExpected to run July 2017
AU$100 +Donation to Elastin ResearchThis would allow us to buy reagents that would culture human cells for 3 weeks.
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableExpected to run July 2017
AU$250 +Donation to Elastin ResearchThis would allow us to buy the reagents required to carry out the experiments to understanding how elastin and human cells are interacting.
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableExpected to run July 2017
AU$500 +Donation to Elastin ResearchThis would allow us to purchase the reagents necessary to understand the mechanism behind the interaction between human cells and Elastin.
0 Chosen | 50 AvailableExpected to run July 2017
AU$1000 +Movement workshop and skin advice from PearlPearl will be sharing her passion for movement in person through a group movement workshop that will get everyone connecting with their bodies and being comfortable in their own "skin". Having also worked in the skin care industry with brands such as Dior, YSL and Lancome, she will be sharing tips during the workshop on how to look after your skin from a scientist's perspective. This funding would be put to scholarships for more students to carry out the research.
0 Chosen | 36 AvailableExpected to run December 2017
AU$5000 +Name on scientific paper, 2x tickets to workshopsYour name will be listed in the acknowledgements of any scientific publications resulting from this work. Additionally, you will be able to attend the movement and skin advice workshop with a friend. This funding would be put to salaries for researchers to carry out the experiments.
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableExpected to run December 2017