In Vitro Cornea and Skin Work
Evaluation of Cosmetic Ingredients in Tissue Engineered Human Skin In Vitro
As an innovative leader in science and technology, P&G Beauty acknowledges the importance of finding new ways of studying ingredient and product safety and efficacy without the use of animal testing. Dr. Rosemarie Osborne has studied the use of In Vitro human skin and cornea equivalents not only for assessing the potential irritant responses of skin and eyes, but also as predictive tools for better understanding responses of the skin to ingredients commonly used in anti-aging and other personal care products.
P&G Beauty researchers are continually striving to improve the ways in which they evaluate the safety and efficacy of their products and ingredients. In an effort to do so, P&G Beauty scientists have developed in vitro skin and cornea equivalents that are proving valuable in assessing how products such as anti-aging affect the skin.
Current Research Uses
In vitro skin and cornea equivalents were originally developed to serve as alternatives to animal testing in the safety assessments for chemicals and product formulations. P&G Beauty researchers have also found that use of the same multi-layer skin cultures can be useful in assessing other skin parameters, such as moisturization, pigmentation, and the production of skin matrix components like collagen. These artificial skin cultures help to develop a better understanding of the efficacy of skin care products and ingredients.
P&G Beauty's Dr. Rosemarie Osborne has also tissue engineered a cell-based human corneal substitute that can serve as an alternative to animals in eye irritancy testing. The corneas produce quantifiable changes in transparency corresponding to different degrees of cellular damage and irritation. The reconstructed corneas also resemble human eye bank corneas maintained in tissue culture and, thus, the results obtained using these in vitro models closely reflect the true irritancy potential of test chemicals.
However, while key structural and physiological features of natural corneas were reproduced, no indications of sensitivity and pain were obtained. Dr. Osborne, therefore, added a nerve component to these tissue engineered corneas. With added nerve cells, the engineered corneas show an innervation pattern resembling that of natural corneas. This has enabled our researchers to better understand natural human eye responses and develop more efficient products.
Future of Research Using In Vitro Skin and Cornea Equivalents
The advancements in P&G Beauty technology have led to skin and cornea cultures that closely mirror the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin and the nerve system found in human corneas. Dr. Osborne's work on the corneal cultures has also provided the basis for the development of a polymer composite for artificial, innervated corneas for transplantation.