Dermal and ocular exposure systems for the development of models of sulfur mustard-induced injury

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Sep;21(7):547-53. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2011.569774. Epub 2011 Apr 8.


Sulfur mustard (SM) is a chemical threat agent for which the effects have no current treatment. Due to the ease of synthesis and dispersal of this material, the need to develop therapeutics is evident. The present article details the techniques used to develop SM laboratory exposure systems for the development of animal models of ocular and dermal injury. These models are critical to enable evaluation of SM injury and therapeutics against that injury. Iterative trials were conducted to optimize dermal and ocular injury models in guinea pigs and rabbits respectively. The goal was a homogeneous and diffuse ocular and dermal injury that compares to the human injury. Dermal exposures were conducted by either a flow-past or static vapor cup system. Ocular exposures were conducted by a static exposure system. Ocular and dermal exposures were conducted with vaporized SM. Vapor concentrations increased with time in the dermal and ocular exposure systems but were stable with varying amounts of applied SM. A dermal deposition estimation study was also conducted. Deposited volumes increased with exposure time.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blister / chemically induced*
  • Burns, Chemical / etiology*
  • Chemical Warfare Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Chemical Warfare Agents / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Eye Burns / etiology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Mustard Gas / pharmacokinetics
  • Mustard Gas / toxicity*
  • Rabbits
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption
  • Time Factors
  • Volatilization


  • Chemical Warfare Agents
  • Mustard Gas