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Via Skin: Medications for All Body Systems


Via Skin: Medications for All Body Systems

(ePharmaNews) – A breakthrough in molecular understanding of skin layers may enable scientists to use this largest body organ as a route for all medications, a Swedish study says.

In this study, a research team at Karolinska Institutet has succeeded in describing the structure and function of the outermost layer of the skin - the stratum corneum - at a molecular level. This opens the way not only for the large-scale delivery of drugs via the skin, but also for a deeper understanding of skin diseases.

"You could say that we've solved the puzzle of the skin barrier, something that has great potential significance for dermatology," says principal investigator Lars Norlén, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet's Dermatology and Venereology Unit.

The study was published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The researchers studies tiny frozen skin sections under electron microscope, without using having their data, says dr.Norlen, muddied by the addition of dyes, solvents or plastics.

If proven successful, this route of medication can avoid the first bypass metabolism that happens in the liver when medications are given orally, and it also enable the slow continuous infusion of medications through the skin, instead of the interrupted oral dosages.

"We can now construct computer simulations to help us find out which substances have to be added to different drugs to open up the skin," says Dr Norlén. "We hope to one day be able to administer regular drugs like insulin and antibiotics this way."

"This may be a breakthrough for dermatology," says Dr Norlén. "Our team has devoted the past 20 years to unlocking the mysteries of the stratum corneum."
All land-living organisms are surrounded by a protective watertight shell. In humans and other vertebrates, it comprises a uniquely complex layer of fat between the cells of the stratum corneum.

"Understanding how this protective barrier has developed is an important step towards explaining why life on land exists and is even possible," says Dr Lars Norlén.


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Prepared by: Laila Nour


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ePharmaNews






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