The biological effects of quadripolar radiofrequency sequential application: A human experimental study

Giovanni Nicoletti, Antonia Icaro Cornaglia, Angela Faga, Silvia Scevola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: An experimental study was conducted to assess the effectiveness and safety of an innovative quadripolar variable electrode configuration radiofrequency device with objective measurements in an ex vivo and in vivo human experimental model. Background data: Nonablative radiofrequency applications are well-established anti-ageing procedures for cosmetic skin tightening. Methods: The study was performed in two steps: ex vivo and in vivo assessments. In the ex vivo assessments the radiofrequency applications were performed on human full-thickness skin and subcutaneous tissue specimens harvested during surgery for body contouring. In the in vivo assessments the applications were performed on two volunteer patients scheduled for body contouring surgery at the end of the study. The assessment methods were: clinical examination and medical photography, temperature measurement with thermal imaging scan, and light microscopy histological examination. Results: The ex vivo assessments allowed for identification of the effective safety range for human application. The in vivo assessments allowed for demonstration of the biological effects of sequential radiofrequency applications. After a course of radiofrequency applications, the collagen fibers underwent an immediate heat-induced rearrangement and were partially denaturated and progressively metabolized by the macrophages. An overall thickening and spatial rearrangement was appreciated both in the collagen and elastic fibers, the latter displaying a juvenile reticular pattern. A late onset in the macrophage activation after sequential radiofrequency applications was appreciated. Conclusions: Our data confirm the effectiveness of sequential radiofrequency applications in obtaining attenuation of the skin wrinkles by an overall skin tightening.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotomedicine and Laser Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'The biological effects of quadripolar radiofrequency sequential application: A human experimental study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this