Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Analytical chemistry, Biochemical research methods

Publication Details

Journal of Biophotonics, vol. 11, no. 4, e201700221.


Topically applied Active Cosmetic Ingredients (ACI) or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) efficacy is directly related to their efficiency of penetration in the skin. In vitro Reconstructed Human Epidermis (RHE) surrogate models offer in vivo like skin samples for transdermal studies. Using Delipidol®, an ACI currently used in the cosmetics industry, the capabilities to deliver accurate distribution maps and penetration profiles of this molecule by means of Confocal Raman spectroscopic Imaging have been demonstrated. Using a NCLS (Non negative constrained least squares) approach, contribution of specific molecules can be estimated at each point of spectral maps in order to deliver semi-quantitative heat maps representing the ACI levels in the different skin layers. The concentration profiles obtained are approximately single exponential for all three time points evaluated, with a consistent decay constant, which is independent of the sublayer structure. Notably, however, there is no significant penetration into the lower basal layers until a critical concentration is built up, after 3 hours. Combination of Raman Confocal Imaging with spectral unmixing methods such as NCLS is demonstrated to be a relevant approach for in vitro biological evaluation of cosmetic and pharmaceutical active ingredients and could easily be implemented as screening tool for industrial use.