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Use of Shed Snake Skin as a Model Membrane for in Vitro Percutaneous Penetration Studies: Comparison with Human Skin


The potential usefulness of shed snake skin as a model membrane for transdermal research was examined. There are similarities between shed snake skin and human stratum corneum in terms of structure, composition, lipid content, water permeability, etc. The permeability of various compounds and the contribution of several functional groups to the permeability were also found to be similar between shed snake skin and human skin. Moreover, the permeability of compounds through shed snake skin was increased by Azone, one of the most extensively studied transdermal penetration enhancers. Considering the similarities between shed snake skin and human skin, ease of storage and handling, and low cost, shed snake skin may offer a good model membrane for transdermal research.

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Correspondence to J. Howard Rytting.

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Itoh, T., Xia, J., Magavi, R. et al. Use of Shed Snake Skin as a Model Membrane for in Vitro Percutaneous Penetration Studies: Comparison with Human Skin. Pharm Res 7, 1042–1047 (1990).

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  • skin penetration
  • transdermal
  • shed snake skin
  • functional group contribution
  • Azone
  • Elaphe obsoleta