Early results from the first patients treated for back acne with Nano-Pulse Stimulation (“NPS”, Pulse Biosciences) in a controlled study show that use of this nonthermal energy modality is providing rapid and sustained clearance of inflammatory lesions, reported Mark Nestor, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
“NPS causes selective reduction of sebaceous gland cells which explains the rationale and the efficacy that is being observed with its use for treatment of acne,” says Dr. Nestor, director for Cosmetic Enhancement and Center for Clinical and Cosmetic Research, Aventura, Fla., and voluntary professor, department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami. “The study is ongoing. More patients are being enrolled and we are working to optimize the energy level and the technology, as well as exploring the use of new tips that will enable treatment of a larger surface area.”
NPS is performed with a proprietary device (CellFX System, Pulse Biosciences) that uses a sterile treatment tip containing microneedles to deliver a series of timed, ultrashort (nanosecond), high voltage, electrical energy pulses to the target site. The nonthermal energy causes disruption of cellular membranes and internal cell organelles, leading to the activation of pathways that result in regulated cell death. Histological studies have shown that NPS treatment selectively affects cellular structures within the treatment zone, including melanocytes, sebaceous glands and hair follicles, without affecting acellular structures, such as elastic fibers and collagen, or adjacent tissue.
“The melanocytes, however, reappear over time and reach levels comparable to those seen in untreated controls by one month after NPS treatment,” Dr. Nestor says.
“In large clinical studies, this technology has demonstrated 90% to 99% efficacy in clearing sebaceous hyperplasia. These incredible results spurred our interest in investigating its use for treating acne,” Dr. Nestor says. “We chose to study acne vulgaris on the back because it is typically challenging to treat and because the back provides a relatively large surface area that allows for an intrapatient control design that compares changes after NPS treatment vs. sham and untreated control sites."