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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2006 Jan;384(2):378-84. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

In vitro permeation of chromium species through porcine and human skin as determined by capillary electrophoresis-inductively coupled plasma-sector field mass spectrometry.

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Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Ghent University, Proeftuinstraat 86, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.


Since the species that trigger chromium allergy are not yet known, it is important to gain more of an insight into the mechanism of chromium transport through the skin and into the relationship between chromium allergy and chromium species. In vitro permeation studies with porcine and human skin were performed using a Franz static diffusion cell. Investigations attempted to elucidate (i) which Cr compounds are able to permeate through skin, (ii) the influence the Cr concentration in the donor solution has on the Cr permeation, and (iii) the effect that the time of exposure to the donor solution has on Cr permeation. Capillary electrophoresis hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma-sector field mass spectrometry (CE-ICP-SFMS) was used to separate and quantify the Cr species in the receptor fluid. 50 mmol L(-1) phosphate buffer (pH 2.5) was used for CE separation, and two different electrophoretic runs were carried out (in the positive and negative modes). Pneumatic nebulization (PN)-ICP-SFMS was used in order to quantify the total amount of Cr absorbed by the skin after microwave-assisted acid digestion of the tissue. Cr(VI) was found to pass most easily through the skin. Nevertheless, Cr(VI) was also shown to be absorbed more efficiently by the skin than Cr(III), an observation attributed to a more pronounced rejection of the positively charged Cr(III) ions by the skin barrier. These results were in good agreement with in vitro permeation studies previously reported in the literature in which other analytical techniques were used. Differences observed in the permeation of Cr following the application of aqueous Cr donor solutions and Cr-containing simulated sweat donor solutions are also described.

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