The Skin Models

Open source epidermal model

The usage of reconstructed epidermal tissues for testing applications such as toxicity and efficacy is gradually expanding all around the world. Various different skin models have been already developed and have also passed successfully scientific validation at ECVAM (European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods to Animal Testing). However, all these validated skin models are either protected by patents and/ or are being commercialized using proprietary tissue culture procedures by only a few private companies. This makes their availability dependent on the corporate strategies of these companies.

Regarding this situation, the Tissue Factory now endorses the open source concept for the reconstruction of human epidermis. The Open Source Reconstructed Epidermis was originally developed and published by Professor Yves Poumay (Arch. Dermatol. Res. 296, 203-211, 2004) and further developed by Henkel to assure the continues availability of skin models to anyone – independent of use or party whatsoever.

The Tissue Factory is going to support the development of the OS-REp model and the setting of a new standard in epidermal tissue reconstruction, since this is going to allow the production of reproducible epidermal skin equivalents of constant high quality in independent laboratories worldwide.

Fraunhofer full-thickness human skin equivalent

Our ip-protected fullthickness skin model is constructed using human keratinocytes and fibroblasts embedded in a specific collagen scaffold. Keratinocytes are cultivated in special media and differentiate to a multi-layered epidermis with a well stratified horny layer (stratum corneum) holding an important barrier function for the penetration of substances through the skin. This distinct double-layer construction of the skin equivalent affords the opportunity to investigate different sorts of interaction between epidermal and cutaneous cells. This opens up various application areas in testing the toxic effects of new substances such as corrosion and irritation of the skin or photoxicity. Besides, the effects of active ingredients in cosmetic or pharmaceutical products can be tested in vitro using our fullthickness human skin equivalent.

Our fullthickness human skin equivalent has been granted an international patent (WO/2001/092477) and is officially accredited for in vitro biocompatibility testing of medical devices (DIN ISO 10993-5).

Take a closer look at the production process of the fullthickness model in the following pages!