Project Team: P. Batheja (Rutgers), V. Rai (Rutgers), P. Wertz, Ph.D. (University of Iowa), B. Michniak-Kohn Ph.D. (Principal Investigator, Rutgers)
Human Skin Equivalents or HSEs are bio-engineered skin tissues prepared using extracellular matrix-collagen, human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKn). A few commercially available collagen-HSE models such as Epiderm-FT® (MatTek Corp., Ashland, MA) are available for in vitro permeability testing and toxicological evaluations.
The Laboratory for Drug Delivery has been actively involved in the development, optimization and characterization of collagen based HSEs. The primary purpose has been the testing of the permeability properties (flux, lag time, permeability coefficient) of the tissue and comparing it to the barrier properties of ex vivo human and animal (e.g. porcine) skin. The focus of the research has been to optimize the barrier through modifications in the growth media and procedure for growing the tissues. The model is evaluated by performing permeation studies using chemicals with varied Log D and molecular weight, using chemical enhancers and retardants, characterization of lipid content of the stratum corneum and histological evaluation of the tissue. The model has shown equal or improved barrier properties over the commercially available Epiderm FT (MatTek Corp. Ashland, MA).
Funding Source: US Army Medical Research & Materiel Command, Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), Contract # W81XWH-04-2-0031.