The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the depth of the dermis \r
on the measured collagen and elastin levels and to establish the correlation between \r
the amount of these two extracellular matrix (ECM) components and age. Multiphoton Microscopy (MPM) that measures the autofluorescence (AF) and second harmonic generation (SHG) was used to quantify the levels of elastin and collagen and to determine the SAAID (SHG-to-AF Aging Index of Dermis) at two different skin depths. A 50 MHz ultrasound scanner was used for the calculation of the Sub Epidermal Non Echogenic Band (SENEB). The measurements of the skin mechanical properties were done with a cutometer. All measurements were performed on two groups of 30 healthy female volunteers. \r
The MPM showed a decrease of the quantity of collagen and elastin as a function of depth of the dermis as well as age. The SAAID was lower for the older skin in the deeper dermis. Ultrasound imaging revealed a significant decrease of SENEB as a function of aging. \r
The mechanical properties confirmed a loss of cutaneous elasticity and firmness. Although multiphoton microscopy is a powerful technique to study the characteristics of the dermis and its age-related damage, the location of the measurements (depth) remains very important for the validation of these variations. These variations do not seem to be homogeneous according to the part of the dermis that is studied.
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