Facts

Contact person:
Sebastian Björklund
Financer:
  • The Knowledge Foundation
Responsible at Malmö University:
Sebastian Björklund
Project members:
Affiliate:
  • MatTek
Collaborators and other project members:
  • Peter Spégel - Lund University
  • Oriflame Cosmetics
  • Cellink
  • Insplorion
Time frame:
01 September 2022 - 31 August 2026
Faculty/department:
Research environment :
Research subject:

Project description

The main goal of the project is to provide detailed molecular understanding of beneficial effects of vitamins on the skin organ and to verify the resemblance of regenerated 3D skin models to real skin.

There is a large need to understand effects of exogenous substances on skin barrier formation and function, both from biological and physicochemical/pharmaceutical perspectives, preferably in parallel and by combining in vitro/ex vivo methodologies mimicking real skin. A vast number of skin care ingredients have been examined either in clinical settings, in cell models, or by physicochemical effects on the skin barrier. However, translational studies combining all three perspectives are scarce. The aim of the current project is therefore to adopt a holistic approach to skin research with a particular focus on how lipophilic vitamins (retinol, niacinamide) and hydrophilic vitamins (niacinamide, dexpanthenol) affect our largest organ.

We combine conventional cell models with 3D skin models, as well as human skin biopsies, employing molecular biology assays together with analytical chemistry methods and physicochemical techniques. With this complementary approach, combining different skin models and experimental techniques, we aim to investigate the effect of vitamins on the metabolic pathways by gene and protein expression assays and by LC/MS lipidomics. Further, the structure-function relationships between the skin barrier molecular organization (SWAXS, FTIR, PT ssNMR) and its barrier properties (confocal Raman spectroscopy, Franz cells, EIS) will be investigated to gain understanding of vitamin dose-response relationship on the skin organ. Finally, we aim at developing a new method for evaluating diffusion of vitamins across biological membranes based on nanoplasmonic sensing.

Overall, the aim is to provide detailed molecular understanding of beneficial effects of vitamins on the skin organ and to verify the resemblance of regenerated 3D skin models to real skin. With improved skin models, together with complementary methods, it will be possible to evaluate skin care products in vitro and thereby minimize the use of animal models. The possibility of reducing, or even eliminating, controversial animal testing by providing reliable alternative test models, is of great benefit to the society.