Andrey Koptyug

Mid Sweden University, Sweden

Title: Consequences for the functionality of human fibroblasts caused by COVID infection and their positive response to the treatment by natural compounds with anti-aging activity


In current presentation, we report on the properties of human fibroblasts from the people who were and were not COVID-infected during pandemic. Experiments were carried out with the cultures of ex-vivo fibroblasts extracted from the material after blepharoplasty, and laboratory cultures. Standard tests performed before surgical procedure included PCR tests that allowed attributing the material to the PCR-positive and PCR-negative subgroups (20 + 20 tissue samples). PCR-positive volunteers had COVID infection not earlier than half a year before the blepharoplasty. Tests were performed to reveal the influence of different stress-factors upon the fibroblast functionality including their capacity of collagen and elastin production. Stress factors included cultivation in the atmosphere deprived from oxygen, with excess of carbon dioxide, and with normal gas content at increased pressure, with different exposure time. After stressing fibroblasts were cultivated at standard conditions allowing for potential restoration of their functionality. Comparison of the functionality was performed for the non-exposure, pre-exposure and post-exposure properties of the post-COVID, non-COVID ex-vivo fibroblasts and standard laboratory fibroblast cultures.  Corresponding dynamic of the functionality recovery was monitored for up to 72 hours after exposure. Corresponding data confirmed that human post-COVID fibroblasts are much less stress-resistant in chosen conditions than non-COVID ones. Post-COVID fibroblasts functionality immediately after exposure is suppressed much more, and recovery of their functionality is slower and less effective. Additional experiments have revealed that some of the compounds claiming rejuvenating and tissue-regeneration properties can help fibroblast functionality recovery although with post-COVID ones it is much less pronounced and cannot reach the levels characteristic to non-COVID ones.


Andrey Koptyug has completed his PhD in Chemical Physics at the age of 32 years at the Siberian Branch of Russian academy of Sciences. Since 1991, he is working in international research organizations, and since 1999- with Mid Sweden University. Applied Physics specialist by education he is heavily involved with modelling and methods in system biology since year 2000. He has published more than 90 papers in reputed journals and 5 patents. Current citation indices are h=25 and i10=50. Current interests heavily focus at cell-based.