Natural Collagen, Atelocollagen, or Native Collagen?
Platinum, Silver or Graphite? Atelocollagen with a golden or pearl helix? How about Pure, Gold or DNA?
What is the difference? Which one should you choose? What is the best way to use them? – we will answer those and other question in our series of three consecutive posts, the first of which is already available below!
“IT ALL STARTED WITH A POLISH INVENTION…”
Collagen is the primary constituent of connective tissue and therefore the most important human protein and as such, has always been been among the central concerns of medicine and cosmetology – due to the systemic correlation between type I and III collagen and the overall health and appearance of skin.
Collagen is obtained from calf nuchal ligaments, less frequently from pigs or fish. In its fibrous form, it has been used since the 1960s in invasive injections to treat skin imperfections in plastic surgery. Despite the impermanence and high cost of such procedures, as well as high incidence of rejections and complications, collagen implants remain one of the most reliable methods of real, if temporary, elimination of so-called age wrinkles, i.e. defects of the dermis.
Collagen fibers have also been hydrolyzed and added to creams, masks and ointments. Collagen hydrolysates proved relatively effective in this form as moisturizers, although naturally, as multimolecular proteins, they were unable to penetrate the epidermal barrier and therefore were never treated as a biologically active substance in cosmetology.
Minced and hydrolyzed collagen fibers remained nonetheless what cosmetologists refer to as “peptide carrion”. No matter how rarefied and fragmented – even the smallest molecules still remained approximately 1000x larger than the tiniest epidermal openings. This led to the prevalence of the well-substantiated belief among cosmetologists that collagen could never be transdermal. Throughout the 20th century no-one could as much as imagine collagen isolated from a living organism and persistent outside the donor’s system in a form other than the “large” molecular mass fibril or fibrous tissue. Indeed, this perception of “collagen” continues to prevail among many physicians, biologists, and beauticians even today.
In the 1970s, the school of protein biochemistry in aquatic organisms developed in Poland and soon was able to compete with the most advanced centers for such research in the world. The team even had a deep-sea research vessel “Profesor Siedlecki” at its disposal. Their discoveries included, among other things, a method of extracting edible protein from plankton (Antarctic krill).
In 1985, Mieczysław Skrodzki, Antoni Michniewicz, and Henryk Kujawa – chemists at the Centre for the Development of Fisherman’s Cooperatives in Gdynia made a practical discovery (patent no. 144584) that seemed scientifically implausible and remained, for years, greatly underappreciated – a method of isolating collagen directly from fish skins at the molecular level by way of hydration (rather than hydrolysis). The exceptionality of the Polish invention stemmed from the fact that relatively simple, tertiary collagen, “leaped” in a reaction with organic acid to a water solution wherein it was able to retain double helix conformation for months after extraction from the organism of the fish-donor, i.e. a quality normally characteristic only of collagen present in living tissue. Thus, while the fish itself had long been eaten, the collagen obtained from its skin, like a genie in a bottle – remained “alive” and biologically active to the same extent it was on the day the animal had been caught in the fishing net…
Sadly, neither M. Skrodzki nor A. Michniewicz lived to make even a single dime on their invention. Their patent expired in 2002.
Soon afterwards, a group of chemists and physicians associated with the Gdańsk university circles became interested in the problem. It was first taken up by a scientist who, for a time, actually attempted to falsely appropriate the “authorship” of the extraction method itself, Józef Przybylski, and eventually by the researcher who succeeded in finalizing the formula for practically usable fish collagen – Professor Andrzej Frydrychowski, PhD – author of numerous inventions in the fields of chemistry, diagnostics and medical technology.
It was the later who discovered a way of modifying Skrodzki’s method so that collagen molecules would bind with water to form a collagen hydrate which, through simple filtration, could form a gel extracted through separation from large mass protein molecules and protein residue, whose breakdown products on skin proved to be … transdermal. Such products were able to permeate into the dermis similarly to bioengineered peptides, with the difference being that “his” peptides were obtained from a fully natural process! The result was the first collagen preparation in history whose dissimilation products – i.e. natural peptides – were capable of penetrating the epidermal layer and reaching dermal fibroblasts – the collagen and elastin production facilities in human skin.
Professor Frydrychowski is the holder of the sole patent certified by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland for “a method of obtaining collagen from fish skins”, i.e. patent no. 206813 issued in 2003 …
…Polish chemists, working under relatively primitive conditions, succeeded in obtaining collagen protein aggregates of such microscopic sizes that they were able to penetrate the epidermal barrier. It should be emphasized that they had achieved the same at least 15 years before the first large, corporate laboratories were able to produce their first biomimetic peptides, matrikines and other proteins whose transdermal qualities are surprisingly not contested by anyone, certainly not in the way that backward physicians and cosmetologists would, for many years, ridicule Natural Collagen in Poland (insisting that “collagen is too large to penetrate”).
The peptides of Polish tropocollagen are not formed in a bioengineering pipette, they are a product of nature. Triple collagen helixes would always break down into such peptide chains uncontrollably, and therefore non-repeatably. This hindered reproducibility of the experiments and proper corroboration of the discovery made in Gdańsk.
Nonetheless, despite the impossibility to illustrate under laboratory conditions the exact mechanisms of the molecular dissociation and transdermality of tropocollagen peptides, this undeniable biochemical breakthrough that promised to redefine the world of cosmetology would have made a rip-roaring career and never would have fallen into our hands if not for the “original sin” of the collagen hydrate, a flaw that disqualified it as a candidate for the crown of a global revolution and the new elixir of youth.
The earliest collagens denatured already in 20℃, later formulations in 23 ℃… (nowadays, in 26 – 28℃)
…The natural gel produced from triple-helix collagen contains not a singe atom of anything that does not naturally occur in the human organism, meanwhile even the most expensive and broadly advertised cosmetics tend to include ingredients covering even a quarter of the periodic table. Our hydrate contains only four: water, protein, lactic acid, and a short-chain fatty acid related to a simple alcohol, rather than 15 – 40 INCI names. As such, it provides a perfect answer to the contemporary trends and needs of modern consumers. It may not be able to entirely remove deep forehead lines but, if consequently and systematically applied on moist skin, it can prevent the formation of new wrinkles for many years!”
source: Jarosław Zych – Colway – History, Characteristics, Attributes and Financial Plan for a Unique Polish Endeavor. Fragments: Niebieska Teczka issue 19