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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1758(7):923-33. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

Determination of molecular conformation and permeation in skin via IR spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging.

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Department of Chemistry, Newark College, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.


Skin tissue, in addition to its specific use in dermal research, provides an excellent model for developing the techniques of vibrational microscopy and imaging for biomedical applications. In addition to permitting characterization of various regions of skin, the relative paucity of major biological constituents in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), permits us to image, with microscopic resolution, conformational alterations and concentration variations in both the lipid and protein components. Thus we are able to monitor the effects of exogenous materials such as models for drug delivery agents (liposomes) and permeation enhancers (DMSO) on stratum corneum lipid organization and protein structure. In addition, we are able to monitor protein conformational changes in single corneocytes. The current article demonstrates these procedures, ranging from direct univariate measures of lipid chain conformational disorder, to factor analysis which permits us to image conformational differences between liposomes that have permeated through the stratum corneum from those which have remained on the surface in a reservoir outside the skin.

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