Blue light-activated riboflavin phosphate promotes collagen crosslinking to modify the properties of connective tissues

Yeyoung Kang, Jae Hak Kim, Seo Young Kim, Won Gun Koh, Hyun Jong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Reduced amounts of collagen and fragmented collagen fibers are characteristics of aging skin. Recently, user-friendly, at-home personal aesthetic devices using light-emitting diode (LED) light have been used for cost-effective and safe skin improvement. However, to dramatically improve the skin via collagen repair, we need to develop an LED-responsive photosensitizer. Corneal collagen crosslinking uses ultraviolet light to activate riboflavin phosphate (RFP) and is used in ophthalmol-ogy. RFP is a biocompatible photosensitizer derived from vitamin B2 . This study aimed to prove that RFP combined with blue light (BL) can increase collagen crosslinking density, improving its mechanical properties in skin tissue and enhancing skin elasticity. We confirmed the RFP-induced photo-crosslinking in pure collagen by studying changes in its dynamic modulus and matrix mor-phology using collagen hydrogels. We also measured the changes in the mechanical properties after applying photo-crosslinking on porcine skin. The Young’s modulus (1.07 ± 0.12 MPa) and tensile strength (11.04 ± 1.06 MPa) of the porcine skin after photo-crosslinking were 2.8 and 3.5 times better compared to those of normal porcine skin, respectively. Thus, photo-crosslinking through RFP and BL irradiation can be potentially used for skin improvement using aesthetic LED devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5788
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) (NRF-2020R1C1C1013227) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the Gachon University research fund of 2019 (GCU-2019-0296).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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