Characterization of the permeability barrier of human skin in vivo

Fabrice Pirot, Yogeshvar N. Kalia, Audra L. Stinchcomb, Garrett Keating, Annette Bunge, Richard H. Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (SciVal)


Attenuated-total-reflect ante Fourier-transform-infrared spectroscopy has been used to rapidly and noninvasively quantify in vivo the uptake of a chemical into the outermost, and least permeable, layer of human skin (the stratum corneum). The objective of the experiment was to develop a general model to predict the rate and extent of chemical absorption for diverse exposure scenarios from simple, and safe, short-duration studies. Measurement of the concentration profile of the chemical in the stratum corneum, and analysis of the data using the unsteady-state diffusion equation, enabled estimation of the permeability coefficient and calculation of the time required to achieve maximal transdermal flux. Validation of the spectroscopic technique employed was established, and quantitation of chemical uptake into the stratum corneum was confirmed independently using trace amounts of radiolabeled chemical in conjunction with liquid scintillation counting and accelerator mass spectrometry. The results presented have pharmacological and toxicological implications, as the technology lends itself both to the prediction of transdermal drug delivery, and the feasibility of this route of administration, and to the assessment of risk after dermal contact with toxic chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1562-1567
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the permeability barrier of human skin in vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this