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    Functional testing of topical skin formulations using an optimised ex vivo skin organ culture model

    Sidgwick, GP, McGeorge, D and Bayat, A (2016) Functional testing of topical skin formulations using an optimised ex vivo skin organ culture model. Archives of Dermatological Research, 308 (5). pp. 297-308. ISSN 0340-3696

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    © 2016, The Author(s).A number of equivalent-skin models are available for investigation of the ex vivo effect of topical application of drugs and cosmaceuticals onto skin, however many have their drawbacks. With the March 2013 ban on animal models for cosmetic testing of products or ingredients for sale in the EU, their utility for testing toxicity and effect on skin becomes more relevant. The aim of this study was to demonstrate proof of principle that altered expression of key gene and protein markers could be quantified in an optimised whole tissue biopsy culture model. Topical formulations containing green tea catechins (GTC) were investigated in a skin biopsy culture model (n = 11). Punch biopsies were harvested at 3, 7 and 10 days, and analysed using qRT-PCR, histology and HPLC to determine gene and protein expression, and transdermal delivery of compounds of interest. Reduced gene expression of α-SMA, fibronectin, mast cell tryptase, mast cell chymase, TGF-β1, CTGF and PAI-1 was observed after 7 and 10 days compared with treated controls (p < 0.05). Histological analysis indicated a reduction in mast cell tryptase and chymase positive cell numbers in treated biopsies compared with untreated controls at day 7 and day 10 (p < 0.05). Determination of transdermal uptake indicated that GTCs were detected in the biopsies. This model could be adapted to study a range of different topical formulations in both normal and diseased skin, negating the requirement for animal models in this context, prior to study in a clinical trial environment.

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