Characterization of the structure of human skin substitutes by infrared microspectroscopy

Authors: Leroy, MarieLafleur, MichelAuger, MichèleLaroche, GaétanPouliot, Roxane
Abstract: The skin acts mainly as a protective barrier from the external environment, thanks to the stratum corneum which is the outermost layer of the skin. As in vitro tests on skin are essential to elaborate new drugs, the development of skin models closer to reality becomes essential. It is now possible to produce in vitro human skin substitutes through tissue engineering by using the self-assembly method developed by the Laboratoire d’Organogénèse Expérimentale. In the present work, infrared microspectroscopy imaging analyses were performed to get in-depth morpho-spectral characterization of the three characteristic layers of human skin substitutes and normal human skin, namely the stratum corneum, living epidermis, and dermis. An infrared spectral analysis of the skin is a powerful tool to gain information on the order and conformation of the lipid chains and the secondary structure of proteins. On one hand, the symmetric stretching mode of the lipid methylene groups (2,850 cm−1) is sensitive to the acyl chain conformational order. The evolution profile of the frequency of this vibrational mode throughout the epidermis suggests that lipids in the stratum corneum are more ordered than those in the living epidermis. On the other hand, the frequencies of the infrared components underneath the envelop of the amide I band provide information about the overall protein conformation. The analysis of this mode establishes that the proteins essentially adopt an α-helix conformation in the epidermis, probably associated with the presence of keratin, while modifications of the protein content are observed in the dermis (extracellular matrix made of collagen). Finally, the lipid organization, as well as the protein composition in the different layers, is similar for human skin substitutes and normal human skin, confirming that the substitutes reproduce essential features of real skin and are appropriate biomimetics.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 21 June 2013
Open Access Date: 19 July 2019
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 405 (27), 8709–8718 (2013)
Springer Link
Alternative version: 10.1007/s00216-013-7103-y
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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