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Examining skin as a biomembrane

Research Achievements

Examining skin as a biomembrane

Two trainees, Terri LaCount and Kyle Rich, are examining skin as a biomembrane. Terri is measuring molar conductance of excised human skin immersed in various electrolyte solutions and Kyle is working with Terri’s advisor, Dr. Kasting, to monitor skin conductivity to assess ultrasound-mediated perturbation of the dermal barrier. Terri has shown that molar conductance decreases with increasing concentration and molar conductance values can be extrapolated at infinite dilution to calculate ion mobilities, transport numbers, and ion diffusivities in solution and skin. Her data suggest that parallel values for skin may be applicable to skin permeation estimates for passive exposures to ionized compounds. Kyle is applying ultrasound to skin to enhance drug delivery of polymeric nanoparticles into the deep dermal layers. Kyle is showing that ultrasound-induced, stable microbubble oscillation enhances dermal membrane permeability and might also optimize drug delivery to this layer.