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J Invest Dermatol. 1987 Apr;88(4):439-46.

An experimental skin sandwich flap on an independent vascular supply for the study of percutaneous absorption.


Further insights into the composite interactive processes of topically applied agents and percutaneous absorption and metabolism by functional skin in vivo have been hampered by the lack of a model system wherein the blood flow to and from the skin is independent but experimentally accessible. Utilizing microsurgical techniques, split-thickness skin grafting with syngeneic skin grafts, and the congenitally athymic (nude) rat, a skin sandwich flap system has been generated that has an independent but accessible vasculature and thus fills this void. We describe the methodology that has been developed to create the flap and present experiments that: demonstrate a lack of significant collateral circulation; quantify the microcirculation of the skin sandwich flap, host side, and graft side at various times during and after the flap has been generated, and note that blood flow to the flap is basically unchanged from host skin; demonstrate the utility of the system in measuring the amount of [14C]benzoic acid that appears in the flap when deposited on the surface in volatile and nonvolatile vehicles as a function of time; and demonstrate the fact that the flap can be reused, and that the total amount of [14C]benzoic acid absorbed across skin does not change in a substantial way as the flap ages.

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