Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Atomic, Molecular and Chemical Physics, Analytical chemistry, Cell biology,, Biochemistry and molecular biology

Publication Details

Experimental Dermatology, 23, 441-443 (2014)


The use of animals for scientific research is increasingly restricted by legislation, increasing the demand for human skin models. These constructs present comparable bulk lipid content to human skin. However, their permeability is significantly higher, limiting their applicability as models of barrier function, although the molecular origins of this reduced barrier function remain unclear.

This study analyses the Stratum Corneum (SC) of one such commercially available reconstructed skin model (RSM) compared to human SC by spectroscopic imaging and chromatographic profiling. Total lipid composition was compared by chromatographic analysis (HPLC). Raman spectroscopy was used to evaluate the conformational order, lateral packing and distribution of lipids in the surface and skin/RSM sections. Although HPLC indicates that all SC lipid classes are present, significant differences are observed in ceramide profiles. Raman imaging demonstrated that the RSM lipids are distributed in a non-continuous matrix, providing a better understanding of the limited barrier function.