Development and validation of a minimally invasive and image-guided tape stripping method to sample atopic skin in children

O. Yélamos, D. Andersen, M. Pont, P. Iglesias, M. Potrony, M. Domínguez, A. Herrero, B. Alejo, J. Mateu, M. Røpke, N. B. Danneskiold-Samsøe, J. Malvehy, R. H. Guy, S. Brix, S. Puig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: Molecular skin profiling techniques, typically performed on skin samples taken by punch biopsy, have enhanced the understanding of the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis (AD), thereby enabling the development of novel targeted therapeutics. However, punch biopsies are not always feasible or desirable, and novel minimally invasive methods such as skin tape stripping have been developed. AIM: To develop, optimize and validate a novel tape stripping method guided by noninvasive in vivo skin imaging to sample atopic skin in children. METHODS: Skin tape stripping-based procedures were compared and optimized using data from 30 healthy controls (HCs: 5 adults, 25 children) and 39 atopic children. Evaluations were guided by high-resolution photography, reflectance confocal microscopy, optical coherence tomography and transepidermal water loss measurements. We assessed and compared adverse events (AEs), the time needed to perform the sampling and the cDNA levels obtained from the tapes. RESULTS: Tape stripping methods based on previously described protocols resulted in erosions in all participants and required a median time of 65 min to perform (range 60-70 min), but provided good cDNA yield. Shorter durations appeared less invasive but provided lower cDNA yield. The final optimized tape stripping protocol, using 11 tapes of 22 mm in diameter, each applied twice for 5 s with 90° rotation, did not produce significant AEs, was completed within a median time of 7 min (range 5-15 min) and provided good cDNA yield both in HCs and atopic children. CONCLUSION: Our minimally invasive method is safe and reliable, and provides reproducible acquisition of cDNA in atopic children. In addition, it enables rapid sample collection, a crucial factor in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number2
Early online date9 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Almirall S. A. (Spain) and Leo Pharma A/S (Denmark).

Data availability
Data are available on request from the corresponding author.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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