Determination of molecular conformation and permeation in skin via IR spectroscopy, microscopy, and imaging

Richard Mendelsohn, Carol R. Flach, David J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Skin tissue, in addition to its specific use in dermal research, provides an excellent model for developing the techniques of vibrational microscopy and imaging for biomedical applications. In addition to permitting characterization of various regions of skin, the relative paucity of major biological constituents in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), permits us to image, with microscopic resolution, conformational alterations and concentration variations in both the lipid and protein components. Thus we are able to monitor the effects of exogenous materials such as models for drug delivery agents (liposomes) and permeation enhancers (DMSO) on stratum corneum lipid organization and protein structure. In addition, we are able to monitor protein conformational changes in single corneocytes. The current article demonstrates these procedures, ranging from direct univariate measures of lipid chain conformational disorder, to factor analysis which permits us to image conformational differences between liposomes that have permeated through the stratum corneum from those which have remained on the surface in a reservoir outside the skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-933
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • IR microscopy and imaging
  • Lipid phase behavior
  • Liposome permeation
  • Stratum corneum


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