A new method of examining the skin can reduce the number of animal experiments while providing new opportunities to develop pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Chemical imaging allows all layers of the skin to be seen and the presence of virtually any substance in any part of the skin to be measured with a very high degree of precision.
?More and more chemicals are being released into our environment. For example, parabens and phthalates are under discussion as two types of chemicals that can affect us. But so far it has not been possible to find out how they are absorbed by the skin. A new study from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg shows how what is termed chemical imaging can provide comprehensive information about the human skin with a very high level of precision.
Investigations into how substances pass into and through the skin have so far taken place in two ways:by using tape strips to pull off the top “corneal” layer of skin for analysis,and throughurine and blood testing to see what has penetrated through the skin. But we still know very little about what happens in the layers of skin in between. Chemical imaging now allows us to see all layers of the skin with very high precision and to measure the presence of virtually any substances in any part of the skin. This can lead to pharmaceutical products that are better suited to the skin, for example.
The new method was created when the chemists Per Malmberg, at Chalmers University of Technology,and Lina Hagvall, at the University of Gothenburg, brought their areas of research together.
“With pharmaceuticals you often want as much as possible of the dose to be absorbed by the skin, but in some cases you may not want skin absorption, such as when you apply a sunscreen, which needs to remain on the surface of the skin and not penetrate it. Our method allows you to design pharmaceuticals according to the way you want the substance to be absorbed by the skin,” says Hagvall.
Chemical imaging has until now mainly been used for earth sciences and cellular imaging, but with access to human skin from operations the researchers have come up with this new area for the technology. The researchers now also see opportunities opening up for replacing pharmaceutical tests which currently involve animal experiments. Their methods provide more accurate results than tests on mice and pigs. Since it is not permissible to use animals to test cosmetics, this method may also create new opportunities for the cosmetics industry.
“Many animal experiments carried out by researchers and companies are no longer necessary as a result of this method. If you want to know something about passive absorption into the human skin, this method is at least as good. It’s better to do your testing on human skin than on a pig,” says Hagvall.
The new method can also provide a basis for determining the correct limits for harmful levels of substances that may come into contact with the skin. In order to establish those limits, youneed to know how much of the dose on the skin’s surface penetrates into and through the skin, which this method can show. It enhances our knowledge about what we are absorbing in our workplaces and in childcare facilities.
“Our method can show everything with an image, whether you are looking for nickel, phthalates or parabens in the skin, or if you want to follow the drug’s path through the skin. Withjust a skin sample we can essentially search for any molecules. We don’t need to adapt the method in advance to what we are looking for,” says Malmberg.
It will be possible to apply the results in the very near future. The technology itself is ready for use today. There is still a small amount of work left to do in optimising the tests to achieve the best results, but the researchers believe that the method will be ready for use within a year.
Facts: Chemical imaging
Chemical imaging involves the use of a laser or ion beam to analyse the sectionsof skin using a mass spectrometer. Every dot, or pixel, of the section which the beam strikes provides information, which is used to classify the chemicals present in the skin according to molecular weight. The chemical information from each dot can then be combined into a digital image which shows the distribution of a substance in the skin. A time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS), which provides a very high spatial resolution down to the nanometre range, was used in this particular study.
Learn more: New method maps chemicals in the skin
The Latest on: Chemical imaging
Global Photo-Imaging Chemicals Market Professional Survey Report 2018: By Product, Application, Segmentation, Trends and Forecast till 2025
on May 10, 2018 at 1:16 am
The recently published report titled Global Photo-Imaging Chemicals Industry 2018 Market Research Report is an in depth study providing complete analysis of the industry for the period 2017 – 2025. It provides complete overview of Global Photo-Imaging ... […]
A new laser source for infrared chemical imaging: a promising tool for early cancer diagnostic
on March 23, 2018 at 7:27 am
Sébastien Février, researcher at XLIM (CNRS/Université de Limoges), and his team demonstrated that a bench-top, optical fibre-based laser source can be used to perform infrared spectromicroscopy with a precision rivaling, and in some regards even ... […]
Island company buys chemical imaging machine that identifies foreign objects and potato defects
on February 17, 2018 at 8:29 am
A million-dollar investment into a chemical imaging machine is giving a P.E.I. business a peek inside potatoes without removing the peel and, in so doing, improving the quality and safety of potatoes for Islanders. “We are responding to the needs of the ... […]
Chemical imaging technology to improve P.E.I. potato safety
on January 20, 2018 at 1:19 am
The Sherlock Separator is a chemical imaging machine that uses new technology to inspect the inside of the potato without removing the peel. The machine makes RWL the first location in Canada to have the ability to screen potatoes for foreign material with ... […]
Seeing More with PET Scans: Scientists Discover New Way to Label Chemical Compounds for Medical Imaging
on July 27, 2017 at 5:23 am
Researchers have found a surprisingly versatile workaround to create chemical compounds that could prove useful for medical imaging and drug development. The chemical mechanism, discovered by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley ... […]
United States Vascular Imaging Market 2017 Industry Chain, Efficient Management, Eminent Growth, Developments & Revenues
on June 23, 2017 at 10:31 am
In this report, the United States Vascular Imaging Market 2017 is valued at USD XX million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of XX% between 2016 and 2022. Geographically, this report splits the United ... […]
Scientists develop novel chemical 'dye' to improve liver cancer imaging
on May 2, 2017 at 5:00 am
A research team led by Assistant Professor Edward Chow (right), Principal Investigator from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at NUS and Department of Pharmacology at NUS Yong Loo Lin of Medicine, has developed a novel nanodiamond-based contrast ... […]
'Volumetric' imaging method reveals chemical content
on April 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm
This schematic depicts an imaging system that uses a special type of laser beam called a Bessel beam that is produced using a pair of cone-shaped “axicon” lenses combined with a microscope objective. Purdue University researchers are using the system ... […]
Imaging Software facilitates analysis of chemical datasets.
on April 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Offered in 64-bit edition, ISys provides one platform that supports import of MIR, NIR, and Raman imaging and mapping data files from various vendors. All tools needed to understand chemical imaging data in spectral (chemical) and spatial (image ... […]
Software facilitates chemical imaging processes.
on August 31, 2005 at 5:00 pm
Using qualitative and quantitative analysis, ISys v4.0 Chemical Imaging Software is used to process chemical imaging and mapping data collected with various spectroscopy solutions. Features include AutoISys automated data processing tool; data ... […]
via Google News and Bing News