Senior lecturer at UCL’s School of Pharmacy, dedicated to skin permeation, Dr Majella Lane, conducted a series of experiments on behalf of Evocutis, the manufacturers of LabSkin, to assess how well substances permeate LabSkin compared to pig ear skin, and has since advocated the technology.
Commenting on her findings, Lane said: "Finding a living skin equivalent model that is comparable to pig ear skin is significant. As cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies look for viable alternatives to testing on human or animal skin, LabSkin has proven itself to be a credible substitute.”
"LabSkin has performed better than any other living skin model that I have tested and the data is less variable,” Lane added, saying that other models are often too permeable and do not provide an adequate barrier function.
“LabSkin is a living, breathing skin equivalent model which is very easy to handle and robust during testing.”
The announcement was met with great positivity by Evocutis chief scientific officer, Richard Bojar, who emphasised the importance of viable alternatives with the new cosmetics animal testing rules in place.
“Pig ear skin has characteristics which are similar to human skin and it has become the industry standard for the testing of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. However, as Dr Lane's study has shown, there is now a viable alternative to using animal products for testing purposes,” he said.
10 years in the making
Launched by Evocutis in 2012 following 10 years' research at the University of Leeds, LabSkin is a unique human skin model, comprised of both dermal and epidermal layers constructed from primary human cells.
LabSkin’s ease of use is helped by the large surface area, and also has genuine longevity of use of between 10 and 14 days, meaning that skin products can be applied and tested as they would be in normal use.
Dr Lane’s results were analysed in terms of the cumulative amount of Ibuprofen permeated through LabSkin over time and tests showed that the amount that permeated through LabSkin was comparable to pig ear skin.