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Dr. Richard Mendelsohn Presents: Vibrational Spectroscopy and Microspectroscopic Imaging: Introduction and Applications to Skin Biophysics and Pharmacology

Part of the CDR Fall 2013 Seminar Series

In the world of skin research, where a drug’s efficacy often depends on how well it can travel through the skin, new analysis technologies need always be developed to improve researchers’ understanding of what happens beneath our skin.  So, in an effort to keep our CDR members up-to-date with the most novel non-invasive approaches, we invited Dr. Richard Mendelsohn to host a talk at the center.

Dr. Mendelsohn is a spectroscopist by training and recipient of the 2012 Gold Medal awarded by the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. In his talk, he discussed both IR and Raman uses for the in-vitro evaluation of drug penetration through the skin. Specifically, he discussed how wide-field IR spectroscopy allows us to map out the constituents of the stratum corneum – the primary barrier for drug diffusion through the skin. This mapping gives way to study and possibly predict the permeability of formulations by assessing the skin structure and its interactions with potential drugs via hydrogen bonding and lamellar structure formation.

Next, he talked about his laboratory’s exciting results with the use of confocal Raman for depth profiling of drugs, pro-drugs and permeation enhancers. Even more, he presented results that showed how he could track the enzymatic hydrolysis of a pro-drug through the skin!  This now activated anticancer pro-drug had an increasing permeability through the skin.

Finally by the end of the night we all arrived at the conjecture that increasing skin permeability is still a challenge, but these tools definitely give way to study skin structure and its components in a whole new (and more efficient) way.