Biophysical study of porcine ear skin in vitro and its comparison to human skin in vivo

J Pharm Sci. 2002 Nov;91(11):2376-81. doi: 10.1002/jps.10220.


The goal of this work was to establish, using biophysical characterization, that porcine ear skin in vitro is a valid model for its human counterpart. Specifically, stratum corneum (SC) barrier function was evaluated during its progressive removal by adhesive tape-stripping using the techniques of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and impedance spectroscopy. TEWL increased slowly at first and then more rapidly with the degree of SC impairment. In contrast, low-frequency skin impedance declined exponentially as a function of progressive SC removal. The methods provide complementary and correlated information about SC barrier function. Biophysical parameters, including the diffusivity and permeability coefficient of water across the SC, and the thickness of the barrier were determined from the TEWL data using Fick's first law of diffusion. Furthermore, an ionic partition coefficient-mobility product was estimated from the skin impedance measurements. Comparison of the results with those previously reported for human skin in vivo strongly supports the validity of the porcine membrane as an in vitro model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Ear / physiology
  • Humans
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Swine / metabolism*