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Research with impact

The Aesthetic Medicine programme is hosted by the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research at the Blizard Institute, part of Queen Mary University of London's Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

The Centre is one of the largest cutaneous research centres in Europe. It hosts groups of world-class academics and research-active staff, conducting research into basic science and a wide range of conditions, from aging and senescence, skin cancers and rare genetic conditions.

Publications by students on the programme

As part of the MSc Aesthetic Medicine, students have the opportunity to complete a dissertation. Some of this work goes on to be published in academic journals, showing just how beneficial the dissertation element of the programme can be to your experience and future career, not just in academia but also in professional practice. Here are a few examples.

Perioral rejuvenation

Omar Hamid (MSc Aesthetic Medicine, 2021) completed his dissertation on injectable autologous platelet aggregate preparations and whether they could successfully augment the lip. Prior to this, this type of injectable had been developed and used for facial rejuvenation but limited evidence existed for the use of these for augmentation of the lip.

This study evaluated the qualitative and quantitative effects of an injectable platelet-rich fibrin preparation (known as i-PRF+) for lip augmentation. PRF® PROCESS system technology was used to prepare i-PRF+ supernatant. Ten healthy females were included in the study and received a single intradermal injection of i-PRF+ in the upper and lower lips. Participants were followed for three months post-procedure. The efficacy of the procedure was assessed qualitatively by a subjective patient-reported outcome (FACE-Q) assessment and quantitatively by objective 3D skin surface volume analysis (ProFace®) at baseline and after 3 months.

The research concluded that a single session of i-PRF+ injections resulted in significant lip rejuvenation at three-month follow-up, shown by improved patient-reported outcome measure, but no significant change in lip volume was observed.

View the research paper

Topical growth factors and home-based microneedling

Daniel Quinlan (MSc Aesthetic Medicine, 2021) completed his dissertation on the efficacy of topical growth factor treatment in conjunction with transdermal delivery of growth factors via home-based microneedling for facial skin rejuvenation. Topical application of growth factors has been shown
to increase dermal collagen synthesis, improve skin texture, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but limited data existed for the use of growth factors in combination with microneedling.

Over three months, 11 healthy female individuals aged 33–61 years with mild to moderate facial wrinkling received twice-daily application of a topical recombinant human growth factor preparation (SkinGenuity® Regenerative and Reparative Serums) along with twice-weekly transdermal delivery of growth factors using a home-based microneedling device.

Objective skin analysis showed a significant improvement in skin texture, wrinkles, red areas, and brown spots at 3 months follow-up. FACE-Q scales showed a significant improvement from baseline, including satisfaction with skin, facial appearance, nasolabial folds, cheeks, and lower face/jawline. Numerical improvement in adverse effects related to skin was also observed.

View the research paper

Analysis of cosmetic applications of Botulinum toxin type A for dental practitioners

Former student Ines Pereira (MSc Aesthetic Medicine, 2021) completed an evidence-based review on the role of botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA) on diverse cosmetic applications of interest to dental practitioners and allied specialities. This was to identify the cosmetic treatments that have an evidence-based rationale against areas requiring further research, with a view to assess the safety and efficacy of BoNTA.

She found that according to the data, BoNTA was safe and effective in improving facial contour and to reduce the volume and thickness of the bilateral hypertrophic masseter. Conservative doses using a combined approach of BoNTA and hyaluronic acid was recommended as a safe and effective treatment for perioral enhancement.

There was limited evidence to support BoNTA effectiveness for gummy smile associated to perioral musculature hyperactivity, while jawline sculpting targeting the platysma muscle had less evidence up to this date. There is also limited high-quality evidence to support the long-term safety and effectiveness of repetitive BoNTA injections, and no studies were found that provided a cost-effectiveness evaluation of BoNTA formulations against other current cosmetic interventions.

View the research paper

Facial skin rejuvenation

Dr Haidar Hassan and others conducted a single‐centre, prospective, uncontrolled study evaluating the efficacy of injectable platelet rich fibrin (i‐PRF) for facial skin rejuvenation using an objective skin analysis system and validated patient‐reported outcome measures.

Eleven healthy female individuals were included in the study and over three months received monthly intradermal injections of i‐PRF. A significant improvement in skin surface spots and pores was seen at three‐month follow‐up. Other variables, such as skin texture, wrinkles, UV‐spots, and porphyrins, showed a numerical improvement.

The research concluded that a series of three i‐PRF injections resulted in significant rejuvenation of the face skin at three‐month follow‐up, as shown by improved skin analysis parameters and patient self‐assessment scores.

View the research paper

Previously, Dr Hassan was awarded the 1st British Council of Aesthetic Medicine Research Award in 2019 for his clinical paper on "Injectable Platelet Rich Fibrin (i-PRF) in Aesthetic Medicine – a prospective consecutive cases audit of outcome".

Botulinum toxin for chronic migrane

Deputy Programme Coordinator Dr Anna Maria Fenech Magrin contributed to an evidence-based literature review of the safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin type A (onaBoNTA) in the prophylactic treatment of adult patients suffering with chronic migraine (CM) compared to placebo, with a view to formulate a protocol for doctors managing CM in their aesthetic clinic.

The review, published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal, found that there is high-quality evidence that the treatment in adults with CM is well tolerated and considered safe, however it is associated with increased risk of adverse events and still some uncertainty exists associated with the degree onaBoNTA improves outcome measures compared to placebo.

The data was used to formulate The London Aesthetic Migraine Protocol (LAMP) to provide safe, evidence-based guidance for appropriately trained and experienced aesthetic practitioners to manage CM in their aesthetic clinics.

View the research paper

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