Contact: to feature here

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Skin grown in the lab can take place of animals to test drugs and cosmetics
In a new study scientists have grown human epidermal equivalents, with skin barrier and cellular properties similar to normal skin, from stem cells. The innovation offers the potential for a cost-effective alternative to animals, both for studying skin barrier defects and for drug and cosmetic screening. The study is published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

The skin provides a permeability barrier between us and our environment. The outermost layer is called the epidermis and protects us from entry of pathogens as well as retaining moisture. Some skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis are caused by defects in genes in cells called keratinoctyes, from which the cells of the epidermis are derived.

Previously, scientists had been able to generate human epidermal equivalents, which are 3D in vitro models for skin cells. However, use of these human epidermal equivalents was limited by the fact that they did not form a functional permeable barrier. Furthermore, they could only be generated in limited numbers from single samples of epidermis. The current study turned to human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to generate a population of keratinocytes whose genetic signature was very similar to that of normal human keratinocytes. The researchers then used these engineered keratinocytes in a closely controlled procedure involving sequential high-to-low humidity and an air-liquid interface culture. In this way, they were able to generate an unlimited number of human epidermal equivalents which had the cellular strata of human epidermis and crucially also formed a functional barrier with similar properties to normal skin.

Authors on the study are confident about the utility of their new model for study of skin diseases and testing of drugs and cosmetics. Lead author Dr Dusko Ilic said: “This is a new and suitable model that can be used for testing new drugs and cosmetics and can replace animal models” while co-author Dr Theodora Mauro explained: "We can use this model to study how the skin barrier develops normally, how the barrier is impaired in different diseases and how we can stimulate its repair and recovery."


Petrova, A. et al. (2014). 3D In Vitro Model of a Functional Epidermal Permeability Barrier from Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports,

Press release: King’s College London; Stem Cell Reports
Like Post Reply

Possibly Related Threads…
Last Post

Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Skin grown in the lab can take place of animals to test drugs and cosmetics00