Sponsored by Sentient;
Sculpt™ and Tixel® from Sentient (Park City, Utah) firmly establishes the company as not only a leading full-service provider, but a rising force in aesthetic device platforms. Both non-invasive, non-laser devices offer safe, effective and well-tolerated treatments for highly sought aesthetic indications.
To share this bold re-assertion of identity, Sentient hosted two days of talks and demonstrations at the Park City satellite of the Sundance Film Festival (January 20 - 21, 2023). At this event industry expert physicians including plastic surgeon Lawrence Bass, MD (New York City, N.Y.); dermatologists E. Victor Ross, Jr., MD (San Diego, Calif.), and Ava Shamban, MD (Beverly Hills, Calif.); and others shared their experience and expertise in support of Sentient’s Tixel and Sculpt devices.
For body sculpting and cellulite, the non-invasive Sentient Sculpt harnesses 2.45 GHz of energy and treats from the inside-out, so that most of the energy emitted by its flat-panel applicator is absorbed in the fat instead of the skin. The preferential absorption by fat plus the ability to engage a cooling mode on the handpiece minimizes discomfort. The heat causes disruption of fat cells and subsequent leakage of liquid fatty acids, which is dealt with naturally by the lymphatic system. Sentient Sculpt is safe for all skin types and has no social downtime, which differs from other treatments that have a lengthy recovery, driving patient appeal.
Sentient Sculpt is FDA cleared for cellulite reduction. “Histology suggests a little bit dermal remodeling with changes in the fat and fibrous septal network,” Dr. Bass noted. According to Dr. Bass, Sentient Sculpt is the first non-invasive device shown to remodel fibrous septal bands. A study by Zerbinati, et al. 1 showed 50% reductions in rigid Type I collagen and a twenty-fold increase in more elastic Type III collagen. “It is different than mechanical subcision because we are reducing the fat while improving the quality and elasticity of those fibrous bands, rather than cutting. This seems paradoxical but I do not think it is,” Dr. Bass explained. “When you take into account the variation in the fibrous septal network between men and women, men tend to have differing organization of the bands with the result being denser compartments and a flatter appearance. Based on histology, treatment with Sentient Sculpt is achieving this same effect. This is where cellulite thinking has been going, based on the etiology”.
To facilitate office integration and daily operation, the device is exceedingly easy to learn and use with presets guiding selection and employment of the appropriate handpiece, settings and treatment times. The device’s smart handpieces have green-yellow-red light operator feedback demonstrating the level of skin contact and motion; green indicates excellent contact and motion for optimal therapy, and red indicates energy emission without contact. Also, there are no unnecessary disposables associated with Sentient Sculpt, allowing for better cost-price control and maximal ROI.
Tixel is a thermal-mechanical fractional injury (TMFI) device featuring proprietary inmotion targeted heat known as thermal-mechanical action (TMA® ) to stimulate neocollagenesis for a unique non-ablative skin resurfacing therapy that is safe for all skin types. Treatment can be gentle enough even for delicate areas, and no patient or provider eye protection is required. Its safety and efficacy have been shown in 16 clinical trials, including a recent retrospective chart review by Danny Daniely and colleagues2, revealing overall improvement with high safety and minimal downtime in patients with skin types II through V.
Despite using significantly less energy than laser or radiofrequency (RF) devices, Dr. Ross finds the results to be remarkable. Heat is transferred to tissue via conduction using a titanium tip with an array of pyramid-shaped contacts. The thermo-fractional tip has 9x9 pyramids (10 mm x 10 mm) and the precision tip has 4x6 pyramids. Tips are reusable, sterile and easy to clean. “The heated plate comes into contact with the skin for a predetermined length of time, then retracted over and over again rapidly. This delivers multiple small wounds into the epidermis without breaching the stratum corneum, maintaining an intact barrier even at high settings,” he explained. Tissue temperature stays cool at the dermal-epidermal junction to avoid pigmentary issues.
The system itself is compact, portable and easy to use, Dr. Ross continued. “You can pick this up quickly because the user interface is simple and there are only two treatment parameters: exposure time (the length of time the tip is in contact with skin) and depth of tip protrusion. Tixel is also so quiet that you can have music or TV going in the background and actually hear it.”
With Tixel, treatment is as rapid as 15 minutes and social downtime is minimal. Makeup can be used the first day post-treatment. Visible results typically manifest after three or four sessions on medium settings.
“Tixel is more comfortable so minimal or no topical numbing is required,” Dr. Shamban added. “I love how it is so versatile and easy to combine with other treatment vectors. Also, it is game changing around the eyes because it addresses skin quality without lasers. Our expectation is that whatever treatments you want to do in that location, if skin quality is not the best, the result is not going to be as good; we have seen Tixel improve that. It is also well suited for treating the delicate skin of the neck, which is important for a good overall facial result.”
Tixel application highlights include acne and acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and Tixel-assisted topical drug delivery, according to Dr. Shamban. “The tissue response with Tixel is similar to that of resurfacing lasers, but the barrier is preserved. Similarly, the microchannels facilitate absorption of topicals but it is still non-invasive. You can combine Tixel with other therapies and/or topicals such as exosomes very easily, which I think is going to be an important application in the future.”
1. Zerbinati N, d’Este E, Farina A, et al. Remodeling of collagen constituting interlobular septa of subcutaneous adipose tissue following microwaves application. Dermatol Ther 2020 May;33(3):epub ahead of print.
2. Daniely D, Judodihardjo H, Rajpar S, Mehrabi J. Thermomechanical fractional injury therapy for facial skin rejuvenation in skin types II to V: a retrospective double-center chart review. Lasers Surg Med 2021 Nov;53(9):1152-7.