Efficacy of monopolar radiofrequency on skin collagen remodeling: a veterinary study

Dermatol Ther. May-Jun 2015;28(3):122-5. doi: 10.1111/dth.12195. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


The aesthetic market offers various radiofrequency treatments for the reduction of wrinkles and rhytids. Even though this not an uncommon aesthetic therapy, there is considerable lack of clinical evidence on the various energy delivery systems available (unipolar, bipolar, tripolar, multipolar, etc.). The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of a monopolar radiofrequency device (Exilis Elite, BTL Industries Inc., Boston, MA, USA) on the skin collagen in an animal model. The study treatment was done on the abdominal area of the potbellied Vietnamese mini pigs in the Veterinary Research Institute facility. All pigs were treated once per week for 4 weeks. The treatment area was sized 20 × 10 cm. The surface temperature was kept in the therapeutic interval from 39 °C to 43 °C and the therapy lasted for 10 minutes after reaching the therapeutic temperature. Biopsy samples were taken before the therapy and at the 3-month follow-up. The histology samples were stained and magnified (×400) before computer processing. The collagen volume was calculated using the stereological analysis and the data were statistically processed (using the nonparametric two-sample t-test). The collagen content tissue increased from average of 9.0% before the therapy up to 25.9% after the 3-month follow-up period. The statistical comparison of 54 samples taken before and after the treatment acknowledged the significant difference (p = 0.018). The stereological analysis proved large-scale improvement of collagen in the treated area. We have observed that the monopolar radiofrequency therapy significantly increases collagen remodeling.

Keywords: collagen; radiofrequency; tightening.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Cosmetic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Models, Animal
  • Radio Waves*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Time Factors


  • Collagen