Comparison of artificial sebum with human and hamster sebum samples

Int J Pharm. 2009 Feb 9;367(1-2):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2008.09.025. Epub 2008 Sep 24.


To understand drug delivery to the sebum filled hair and sebaceous follicles, it is essential to use an artificial sebum as a surrogate of the human sebum for the investigation of drug transport properties. Artificial sebum L was developed in-house based on the chemical similarity to human sebum. The partition and diffusion of model compounds (ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, and hexyl 4-hydroxybenzoate) were measured in human sebum, hamster ear and body sebum (a commonly used animal model), and four representative artificial sebum samples (N, S, F, and L) in which artificial sebums, N, S and F were selected based on the available literature. DSC and NMR studies were also conducted on all sebums to compare their melting properties and chemical compositions. In vitro studies show that the partition coefficients of the three model compounds in artificial sebum L were similar to that of human sebum, whereas the hamster ear and body sebum, and other three artificial sebum samples were different from that of human sebum. Additionally, the in vitro sebum flux (microg/(cm(2)min) of three model compounds through artificial sebum L was closer to that of human sebum when compared with the other three artificial sebum (N, S and F), hamster body and hamster ear sebum. The results of this study indicate that the artificial sebum L could be used as an alternative to human sebum, as the physicochemical properties of this artificial sebum is relatively similar to human sebum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cricetinae
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Biological*
  • Sebum / chemistry*
  • Sebum / metabolism
  • Species Specificity