Evaluation of critical parameters forin vitroskin permeation and penetration studies using animal skin models
In vitro skin permeation/penetration studies may be affected by many sources of variation. Herein, we aimed to investigate the major critical procedures of in vitro skin delivery studies. These experiments were performed with model drugs according to official guidelines. The influence of skin source on penetration studies was studied as well as the use of a cryopreservation agent on skin freezing evaluated by transepidermal water loss, electrical resistance, permeation/penetration profiles and histological changes of the skin. The best condition for tape stripping procedure was validated through the evaluation of the distribution of corneocytes, mass of stratum corneum (SC) removed and amount of protein removed using finger pressure, a 2 kg weight and a roller. The interchangeability of the tape stripping procedures followed by the epidermis and dermis homogenate and the micrometric horizontal cryostat skin sectioning methods were also investigated, besides the effect of different formulations. Noteworthy, different skin sources were able to ensure reliable interchangeability for in vitro permeation studies. Furthermore, an increased penetration was obtained for stored frozen skin compared to fresh skin, even with the addition of a cryoprotectant agent. The best method for tape stripping was the finger pressure followed by the addition of a propylene glycol solvent leading to better SC removal. Finally, no significant difference was found in skin penetration studies performed by different methods suggesting their possible interchangeability.