Novoxel Tixel 2018
Novoxel Tixel 2018 Product summary
Novoxel Tixel is a novel device used for fractional skin rejuvenation which is based on Thermo-Mechanical Ablation (TMA) technology. It can be used for the same cosmetic treatments that devices such as ablative CO2 (carbon dioxide) lasers and non-ablative erbium lasers are commonly employed.
It has an ablative mode to create deep or shallow micro-channels of controlled damage to the skin to stimulate collagen production and aid rejuvenation, as well as a non-ablative mode which heats within the upper dermis of the skin, whilst protecting the outer layer, to create permeable, ‘open’ channels which can be used to assist in the transfer of topical serums and agents into the skin.
It was launched in the UK in early 2017 and is made by a German company called Novoxel GmbH.
Tixel is powered by a non-laser (non-radiation), non-radiowave, energy technology called Thermo-Mechanical Action or TMA.
The thermal (heat) energy is emitted through a square tip attached to the device which carries a matrix of small,pyramid-shaped pins, available on a 1cm2, 9 x 9, or 81-pin tip and a smaller 6 x 4, 24-pin tip, for treating harder-to-reach areas, such as around the eyes. The tip is made up of a copper and gold heat reservoir covered by a thin titanium shell, which is heated by a small ceramic electric heater. These materials that are biocompatible with the human body and the titanium shell is sterile during treatment. The pins are heated up to a temperature of 400ºC, which is comparable to the heat generated by a CO2 laser. The pins can make micro-channels, or micro-pores, which are 170μm (microns) wide, 1250μm apart, and between 50 and 200μm deep, creating discrete and uniform treatment zones.
It can operate in three modes – ablative, non-ablative and open channel.
How does it work?
During treatment, the device tip is applied to the surface of the skin multiple times, via a piston-like action from the handpiece. The pins advance towards the skin by a simple continuous back and forth motion at a precisely controlled speed and distance. The pin apexes push the skin and the thermal energy which is stored within them is transferred through the apex of each pyramid in motion. This is done very quickly, during the brief contact with the skin which lasts only a few milliseconds (ms), and can be adjusted to between 5ms and 18ms. The tip distance (“protrusion”) can be set to push the skin between 100μm and 1000μm, at intervals of 100μm. An 8ms pulse duration, for example, can achieve a thermal effect which is 100μm deep, while 14ms creates a 200μm deep effect. The pins are not sharp, they do not protrude the skin physically. The technique is therefore a non-invasive method of heat transfer to tissue by contact.
In all, the device has three settings which the practitioner can manipulate: the first (exposure time) determines how long they want the tip to touch the skin (in milliseconds); the second is the protrusion, i.e., how much of the tip comes out from the distance gauge (in microns); and finally, whether it is a single pass or double pass, i.e. touch once or touch twice.
Published trials have shown that after approximately three passes of a carbon dioxide laser, the surface of the skin will reach between 360ºC and 400ºC. The Tixel pins, which are heated to a constant 400ºC, do evaporate the water and tissue from the top layers of skin, instantly, in the same way that fractional CO2 (ablative) and erbium (non-ablative) laser beams do, but without the need for the presence of the chromophore within the skin, (light attracting agent or water), to cause the reaction, and without an ‘explosive’ ablation and tissue coagulation. The reaction, or creation of the tiny micro-channel damage is caused by skin contact with the pins alone.
The manufacturers claim this means that this makes the process less painful and safer, with reduced downtime and faster healing, as there is no risk from burns or charring of tissue, as associated with lasers.
People find treatment much more tolerable than with lasers, but application of a topical local anaesthetic is recommended to achieve as near as possible to a pain-free experience, particularly in more sensitive areas, such as when treating crow’s feet and eyelids.