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In vitro Skin Models

Epistem provides a range of in vitro models that provide an alternative to in vivo human studies.

Human Skin Equivalent
Epistem Human Skin Equivalent is a 3-D in vitro skin model, closely resembling human skin. Composed of human keratinocytes and human dermal fibroblasts within a collagen gel, the epidermis is fully differentiated, expressing a range of differentiation markers and containing lipid lamellar in its cornified layer.  Effects of agents on a variety of differentiation, proliferation, apoptotic, anti-ageing/oxidation and UV protection markers can be performed. 

Human Skin Organ Culture (Skin Explant Assay)
An alternative to the Human Skin Equivalent, but featuring a genuine human dermis.  Similar studies can be performed, with the benefit of a faster turnaround time.

UV Photodamage Assay
The Human Skin Equivalent Model can be used to determine levels of DNA damage, induced by UVB and UVA exposure, and the effectiveness of novel sunscreen protection (e.g. thymine dimer induction, 6-4 photo products and Comet assay).

Epistem's fully-differentiated Human Skin Equivalent model
Image: Epistem's fully-differentiated Human Skin Equivalent model

Skin Stem Cell Assays
A range of in vitro assay systems, including the anchorage-independent growth of cell microspheres and the identification of Hoechst-dye excluding side populations. This provides valuable information on the ability of an agent to expand skin stem populations.

Monolayer Cultures
Epistem isolates and maintains primary cultures of human epidermal keratinocytes, melanocytes and dermal fibroblasts for test agent screening.

Skin Toxicity Assay
Epistem's Human Skin Equivalent is also used to assess the potential toxicity of agents to human skin. Dose ranging toxicity experiments are performed and a range of techniques are used to determine potential toxic effects (WST-1 assay, IL-2α ELISA, IHC and gene expression analysis).