[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A formal validation study was performed, in order to investigate whether the commercially-available reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) models, EPISKIN, EpiDerm and SkinEthic, are suitable for in vitro skin absorption testing. The skin types currently recommended in the OECD Test Guideline 428, namely, ex vivo human epidermis and pig skin, were used as references. Based on the promising outcome of the prevalidation study, the panel of test substances was enlarged to nine substances, covering a wider spectrum of physicochemical properties. The substances were tested under both infinite-dose and finite-dose conditions, in ten laboratories, under strictly controlled conditions. The data were subjected to independent statistical analyses. Intra-laboratory and inter-laboratory variability contributed almost equally to the total variability, which was in the same range as that in preceding studies. In general, permeation of the RHE models exceeded that of human epidermis and pig skin (the SkinEthic RHE was found to be the most permeable), yet the ranking of substance permeation through the three tested RHE models and the pig skin reflected the permeation through human epidermis. In addition, both infinite-dose and finite-dose experiments are feasible with RHE models. The RHE models did not show the expected significantly better reproducibility, as compared to excised skin, despite a tendency toward lower variability of the data. Importantly, however, the permeation data showed a sufficient correlation between all the preparations examined. Thus, the RHE models, EPISKIN, EpiDerm and SkinEthic, are appropriate alternatives to human and pig skin, for the in vitro assessment of the permeation and penetration of substances when applied as aqueous solutions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to prepare for a validation study to compare percutaneous absorption through reconstructed human epidermis with ex vivo skin absorption through human and animal skin, nine test compounds, covering a wide range of physicochemical properties were selected, namely: benzoic acid; caffeine; clotrimazole; digoxin; flufenamic acid; ivermectin; mannitol; nicotine; and testosterone. The donor and receptor media for the test substances, the addition of a solubiliser for the lipophilic compounds, as well as the stability and solubility of the test substances in the vehicles, were systematically analysed. Hydrophilic molecules, being freely soluble in water, were applied in buffered saline solutions. In order to overcome solubility restrictions for lipophilic compounds, the non-ionic surfactant, Igepal CA-630, was added to the donor vehicle, and, in the case of clotrimazole and ivermectin, also to the receptor fluid. The model molecules showed a suitable solubility and stability in the selected donor and receptor media throughout the whole duration of the test.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this work was to compare the barrier function of the small diameter reconstructed human epidermis model Episkin (d=12 mm) to human skin in vitro. For that purpose a modification for the Franz diffusion cell (d=15mm) had to be developed so as to allow direct comparison with the following human skin preparations: Full thickness skin (FTS), split thickness skin (STS), heat-separated epidermis (HSE), and trypsin isolated stratum corneum (TISC). Among the tested preparations, HSE appeared to be the most preferable due to its clear morphological structure and ease of preparation. The lipid profile of HSE and Episkin was analyzed and showed significant differences in terms of cholesterol, ceramides and triglycerides contents, whereas cholesterol esters and fatty acids were not different. Permeation data with HSE and Episkin were then gathered using caffeine and testosterone. Both test compounds permeated much faster through Episkin than through HSE. Moreover, opposed to Episkin, HSE differentiated between the two test compounds. In spite of the remarkable progress in developing RHEs in the past years at this time Episkin can obviously not yet fully replace human skin for in vitro permeability experiments.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 05/2007; 66(1):127-34. · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rat and pig animal skin has been the most common replacement material for human skin for use in in vitro permeability experiments. Unfortunately, the permeability barrier of skin from laboratory animals is known to be relatively weak, due to significant follicular transport. Pig skin has been shown to be a suitable model for human skin. Unfortunately, it cannot be gathered from the regular slaughtering process, which makes it unsuitable for permeation experiments. We therefore studied the suitability of bovine udder skin, an untreated waste material of the butchering process, as a possible replacement material for use in in vitro permeability tests. We investigated the barrier strength of bovine udder skin against four different substances, and its histology and lipid profile, in comparison with pig skin and heat separated human epidermis. Pig and human skin were found to be equally permeable, whilst bovine udder skin seemed to exhibit a weaker, but less variable, barrier against caffeine, benzoic acid, testosterone, and flufenamic acid. The skin of all three species contained variable contents of the major lipid classes: cholesterol, ceramides, cholesterol ester, fatty acids and triglycerides. Morphological differences mainly comprised variations in the density of hair follicles. Based on these results, the amount of free fatty acids and triglycerides and the density of hair follicles seem to be important factors in the differences between the skin barriers in the three species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The suitability of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurements in vitro as a barrier integrity test for human heat separated epidermis (HSE) was investigated. A model system consisting of a Teflon membrane mounted in Franz diffusion cells (FDC) filled with phosphate buffer saline (PBS) was set up. The membrane was used intact and punctured with a needle (up to five holes). After each puncturing the TEWL was measured. Only the TEWL of intact and punctured membrane differed significantly regardless of the number of holes. From three donors intact human HSE and punctured HSE were compared and no significant difference of the TEWL was found. Permeation experiments with flufenamic acid (FFA) showed a significantly higher diffusion rate through punctured HSE. TEWL and drug permeation were compared for skin stripped three, seven and 15 times prior to heat separation to an intact control group. Only the TEWL values of intact HSE and HSE stripped 15 times differed significantly. However, seven and 15 times stripping resulted in significantly higher diffusion rate. In conclusion, TEWL measurements can detect severe damage of the stratum corneum (SC) but not small changes, which nevertheless may already influence drug diffusion. Therefore, TEWL measurements appears to be of limited use as a barrier integrity test for human HSE in in vitro test systems.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 06/2006; 63(1):44-50. · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to chemicals absorbed by the skin can threaten human health. In order to standardise the predictive testing of percutaneous absorption for regulatory purposes, the OECD adopted guideline 428, which describes methods for assessing absorption by using human and animal skin. In this study, a protocol based on the OECD principles was developed and prevalidated by using reconstructed human epidermis (RHE). The permeation of the OECD standard compounds, caffeine and testosterone, through commercially available RHE models was compared to that of human epidermis and animal skin. In comparison to human epidermis, the permeation of the chemicals was overestimated when using RHE. The following ranking of the permeation coefficients for testosterone was obtained: SkinEthic > EpiDerm, EPISKIN > human epidermis, bovine udder skin, pig skin. The ranking for caffeine was: SkinEthic, EPISKIN > bovine udder skin, EpiDerm, pig skin, human epidermis. The inter-laboratory and intra-laboratory reproducibility was good. Long and variable lag times, which are a matter of concern when using human and pig skin, did not occur with RHE. Due to the successful transfer of the protocol, it is now in the validation process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The commercially available reconstructed human epidermis models EpiSkin, SkinEthic and EpiDerm demonstrate reasonable similarities to the native human tissue in terms of morphology, lipid composition and biochemical markers. These models have been identified as useful tools for the testing of phototoxicity, corrosivity and irritancy, and test protocols have been developed for such applications. For acceptance of these tests by the authorities, prevalidation or validation studies are currently in progress. Furthermore, first results also indicate their suitability for transport experiments of drugs and other xenobiotics across skin. Still, however, the barrier function of these reconstructed human epidermis models appears to be much less developed compared to native skin. Further adaptation of the models to the human epidermis, especially concerning the barrier function, therefore remains an important challenge in this area of research.
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 08/2005; 60(2):167-78. · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In veterinary medicine, the percutaneous permeation of drugs has relevance to therapeutic and forensic problems. It is commonly investigated in Franz diffusion cells using the excised skin of different mammalian species. Drug permeation characteristics through skin are considered to be significantly influenced both by the biochemical constitution of the stratum corneum and by the number and depth of hair follicles. Drug absorbance characteristics thus show a marked interspecies variance. This complicates the comparison of results obtained in different studies using different species. We examined the species influence on permeation parameters of three test compounds with different lipophilicities (benzoic acid, caffeine and testosterone) in Franz diffusion cells under standardized conditions. While testosterone was found to have the highest permeation coefficient, the permeation coefficients of benzoic acid and caffeine were lower and similar in all species. As expected, the absolute permeabilities showed marked interspecies differences, but the order of permeabilities of the test compounds was conserved in all species. The intraindividual coefficient of variation showed no significant difference between the examined species; the interindividual variation was significantly less marked in bovine skin than in other species. We conclude that the skin of different species can be used for the examination of skin permeation. However, results are transferable to other species only if they were obtained under standardized test conditions.Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.