Nanoscale alterations of corneocytes indicate skin disease

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: The skin barrier protects the organism against exogenous stressors and simultaneously prevents excessive water loss. While the delicate regulation of skin barrier is not completely understood, morphological and histological evaluation remain key features of clinical investigations. Here, we extended the phenotypic perspective down to the nanoscale.

METHODS: Corneocyte samples were obtained non-invasively by a standard tape stripping procedure from 21 indviduals. Scanning electron (SEM) and atomic force microcopy (AFM) were used to record nanoscale topography. Circular nano-objects were identified and these were quantitated through computer vision.

RESULTS: Typical dimensions of 273 nm height and 305 nm width. We showed that their density does not correlate to age or pigmentation in healthy subjects, but that they were clearly elevated in corneocytes from patients with atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition.

CONCLUSION: The presence of these corneocyte-nanostructures might be used as a diagnostic parameter for skin disorders - even in cases below a clinical threshold.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkin Research and Technology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)174-80
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biomarkers, Child, Child, Preschool, Dermatitis, Atopic, Female, Humans, Infant, Keratinocytes, Male, Middle Aged, Nanoparticles, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Skin, Young Adult, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 177528532