New tool for epidermal and cosmetic formulation studies by attenuated total-reflection spectroscopy using a flexible mid-infrared fiber probe
The potential of mid-infrared attenuated total-reflection spectroscopy for dermatology studies has been increased by the development of a flexible fiber-optic probe from silver halide material. Such a tool significantly eases epidermal surface characterization. Spectra of human forearm skin and of bovine udder skin (BUS-model), which is used as a substitute for in-vivo tests on man, were compared, and as an example low concentrations of vitamin E acetate (α-tocopherol acetate) in the stratum corneum were measured after topical skin application. Depth profiling was enabled by repeated steps of tape stripping and subsequent skin measurement. The infrared methodology is rapid and can be applied to small areas of skin. It is also sufficiently sensitive for analysis of a large variety of cosmetic formulations and dermatopharmaca. Discrimination of vehicle formulations is possible because of the large information content of mid-infrared spectra.
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