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Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society

Quantitative 3D molecular cutaneous absorption in human skin using label free nonlinear microscopy.


PMID 25550155

Abstract

Understanding the penetration mechanisms of drugs into human skin is a key issue in pharmaceutical and cosmetics research. To date, the techniques available for percutaneous penetration of compounds fail to provide a quantitative 3D map of molecular concentration distribution in complex tissues as the detected microscopy images are an intricate combination of concentration distribution and laser beam attenuation upon deep penetration. Here we introduce and validate a novel framework for imaging and reconstructing molecular concentration within the depth of artificial and human skin samples. Our approach combines the use of deuterated molecular compounds together with coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering spectroscopy and microscopy that permits targeted molecules to be unambiguously discriminated within skin layers. We demonstrate both intercellular and transcellular pathways for different active compounds, together with in-depth concentration profiles reflecting the detailed skin barrier architecture. This method provides an enabling platform for establishing functional activity of topically applied products.

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