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Setup for investigating gold nanoparticle penetration through reconstructed skin and comparison to published human skin data

: Labouta, H.I.; Thude, S.; Schneider, M.


Journal of biomedical optics 18 (2013), Nr.6, Art. 61218
ISSN: 1083-3668
ISSN: 1560-2281
Fraunhofer IGB ()

Owing to the limited source of human skin (HS) and the ethical restrictions of using animals in experiments, in vitro skin equivalents are a possible alternative for conducting particle penetration experiments. The conditions for conducting penetration experiments with model particles, 15-nm gold nanoparticles (AuNP), through nonsealed skin equivalents are described for the first time. These conditions include experimental setup, sterility conditions, effective applied dose determination, skin sectioning, and skin integrity check. Penetration at different exposure times (two and 24 h) and after tissue fixation (fixed versus unfixed skin) are examined to establish a benchmark in comparison to HS in an attempt to get similar results to HS experiments presented earlier. Multiphoton microscopy is used to detect gold luminescence in skin sections. Lambda(ind ex)=800 nm is used for excitation of AuNP and skin samples, allowing us to determine a relative index for particle penetration. De spite the observed overpredictability of penetration into skin equivalents, they could serve as a first fast screen for testing the behavior of nanoparticles and extrapolate their penetration behavior into HS. Further investigations are required to test a wide range of particles of different physicochemical properties to validate the skin equivalent-human skin particle penetration relationship.