Patent Pick: Green Tea Stem Cells Steeped in Skin Benefits


Green tea is well-known for overall health and skin benefits. It has a rich source of flavonoids—accounting for up to 10-30% flavonoids by weight. 

Previous patents have described anti-aging compositions made by culturing totipotent green tea stem cell callus and deriving an extract. However, according to Unilever inventors, improvements are necessary.

In a new patent application, the production of a dedifferentiated stem cell culture extract of Camellia sinensis is described. In this particular status, the cell extract has surprisingly been found to impart skin with capabilities to withstand damage due to dryness, UV light and inflammation.

Green tea stem cell extract to protect skin from dryness, UV damage and inflammation
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/178238
Publication date: Oct. 19, 2017
Assignee: Unilever

Disclosed in this patent application is a process to produce a dedifferentiated Camellia sinensis stem cell extract. The process comprises of: a) preparing a cell culture of dedifferentiated Camellia sinensis stem cells; and b) performing an extraction on the cell culture using ethanol and/or methanol.

As noted, dedifferentiated stem cells have surprisingly been found to protect skin cells against damage caused by dryness and UV light, and to provide an anti-inflammatory effect. Further, it is believed the ethanol and methanol used for extraction provide a higher concentration of certain actives within the stem cell extract; such as flavanones, polyphenols and terpenoids.

The patent explains the dedifferentiated stem cells can be prepared from plant callus explants as they respond to wounding. Callus formation is induced from plant tissues after surface sterilization and plating onto in vitro tissue culture medium.

This callus is a mass of unorganized parenchyma cells. Plant growth regulators, such as auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins, are supplemented into the medium to initiate callus formation or somatic embryogenesis. Once explants are in the culture medium, cells can be grown as desired until a sufficient quantity is obtained.

As can be imagined, this process and extract fit two of the most important consumer trends in today's market: natural and sustainable. This advances the production of natural extracts to a new level.

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