by Dr. Hans Hatt of Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, skin cells can sense smell and respond positively to the application of synthetic sandalwood molecules.
While it is well known that humans have these olfactory receptors in their nose, this is the first time such receptors have been found in the outermost layer of skin cells.
Dr. Hatt's research
, which was published on July 8 in the
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
, shows that when synthetic sandalwood scent is in proximity of these receptors, the receptors trigger a calcium-dependent signal pathway.
This pathway ensures a quicker migration of cells to damaged tissue.
The activated receptors also caused a 32 percent increase in cell proliferation.
that this discovery could lead to further research in wound healing and even to applications for cancer, as T-cells-responsible for killing cancer cells-have olfactory receptors as well.
stated, "I feel a mission to convince my colleagues, and especially clinicians, that this huge family of olfactory receptors plays an important role in cell physiology.