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Pioneers in Microcurrent technology for cosmetics use since 1974, Beautiful Image has long been a leader in the industry and developed over five generations of Microcurrent

What is Microcurrent?

The Body

Microcurrent is naturally generated in the body to produce the energy required for muscle movement and nerve impulses. It is the body’s own electrical system that provides the voltage for ionic exchanges across the cell membranes allowing for cell functions including the intake of nutrients from the blood, removal of cellular waste and movement of impulses along nerve pathways.1 The harmonious flow of these tiny electrical signals is also essential for healthy cell function and cell-to-cell communication. In the event of injury or disease there is signal disruption that obstructs the pathways of intercellular communication.
Cells are analogous to miniature batteries and electrical generators.2 They conduct electricity, create electrical fields, and are powered by a very low level of electrical voltage known as microcurrents. A unique bi-polar membrane surrounds each cell and serves as medium that separates intracellular and extracellular fluids. Imbedded in this membrane are channels that allow for communications in and out of the cell. The opening and closing of these channels are carefully regulated in order to influence cell function under normal and pathological conditions.3 Single molecules or complexes of molecules within the channels allow for the passage of positively and negatively charged atoms (ions) such as sodium,
potassium, chloride and calcium. The voltage difference in electrical potential across cell membranes is called membrane potential (Cooper, Hausman, Ch 13). Membrane potential arises from the interaction of ion channels and ion pumps that are embedded in the membrane, which maintain different ion concentrations on the intracellular and extracellular sides of a cell membrane.

Discovery of ionic channels

Earlier scientific studies confirmed the existence of ion channels in biological cells. There were numerous difficulties,however, in being able to define the specific types of channels. Ionic channels are very minute and arduous to measure.These difficulties were resolved through the development of an extracellular patch clamp method 4 invented by German Nobel prizewinners, Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann. By inserting an electrode pipette through the cell membrane, they were now able to closely study and measure the flow of ions including identifying the single channel currents in the cell membranes. This enabled them to confirm and study the regulation of ion channels that influences the life of the cell and
its functions (Physiology of Medicine). Furthermore, Neher and Sakmann were able to record how a single channel molecule alters its shape to control the flow of current in and out of the cell, all within a few millionths of a second (Physiology of Medicine). Ionic channels play an important role in the generation of action potential in cells. Their revolutionary discoveries sanctioned further studies towards understanding the effect of defective ion channel regulation in the presence of disease as well as toxic substances.

Mitochondria

Mitochondria are essential to the growth and function of all cells and accomplish a multitude of metabolic tasks. Our body has 250 different cells containing specific genes tailored to meet the requirements of each cell.5 There can be as many as 500 to 2000 mitochondria scattered throughout the cytoplasm of a cell. The amount is specific to the location of the cell in the body. Mitochondria are the sites for aerobic respiration and energy production and contain their own DNA. They act as storage units for energy converted from food nutrients. Chemical energy is stored as sugars, amino and fatty acids
and is used for conversion into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).6 Energy is manufactured in the form of ATP through the collaborative actions of proteins located in and on the inner mitochondrion membrane that is called the electron transport chain (Naviaux, p. 3). Electrons are passed down this transport chain releasing energy at each step of the conversion process (Krebs Cycle). This complex electrochemical process is known as ATP synthesis.
New research reveals that the role of the mitochondria in health and disease is far reaching. Once defined as an energy factory, mitochondria also have specialized duties that adapt to each phase of life from embryo to old age. They are closely involved with most of the major metabolic pathways used by the cell to build, break down, and recycle of its molecular building blocks (Naviaux, p. 3). Moreover it is also these progressive metabolic changes that become significant
when assessing the actual biological age of cells and the state of their health. This information cascades into evaluating the probability of optimum response when performing esthetic treatments.
The study of the cell indeed is complex but also cultivating for continual exploration in disease and optimum health. As members of the health care and beauty industry, grasping the core foundation of the physiology of cells and body systems creates new paradigms in the understanding of our technologies and how they impact our ability to perform critical thinking when selecting treatment modalities including cosmeceuticals.