Development of TAP, a non-invasive test for qualitative and quantitative measurements of biomarkers from the skin surface

Biomark Res. 2014 Nov 13;2:20. doi: 10.1186/2050-7771-2-20. eCollection 2014.


Background: The skin proteome contains valuable information on skin condition, but also on how skin may evolve in time and may respond to treatments. Despite the potential of measuring regulatory-, effector- and structural proteins in the skin for biomarker applications in clinical dermatology and skin care, convenient diagnostic tools are lacking. The aim of the present study was to develop a highly versatile and non-invasive diagnostic tool for multiplex measurements of protein biomarkers from the surface of skin.

Results: The Transdermal Analyses Patch (TAP) is a novel molecular diagnostic tool that has been developed to capture biomarkers directly from skin, which are quantitatively analyzed in spot-ELISA assays. Optimisation of protocols for TAP production and biomarker analyses makes TAP measurements highly specific and reproducible. In measurements of interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) and human β-defensin (hBD-1) from healthy skin, TAP appears far more sensitive than skin lavage-based methods using ELISA. No side-effects were observed using TAP on human skin.

Conclusion: TAP is a practical and valuable new skin diagnostic tool for measuring protein-based biomarkers from skin, which is convenient to use for operators, with minimal burden for patients.

Keywords: Biomarker; CXCL-1; CXCL-2; Dermatology; Diagnostics; Interleukin 1RA; Interleukin 1α; Skin care; Transdermal analyses patch; β-defensin-1.