Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Interactions between substances determine allergenic potential

Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have used advanced light microscopy to show that a substance can be differently absorbed by the skin, depending on what it is mixed with. This may determine whether it causes contact allergy or not.

"We have also been able to identify specific cells and proteins in the skin with which a contact allergen interacts. The results increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind contact allergy", says Carl Simonsson at the Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and plays many vital roles, one of which is to prevent harmful microorganisms from invading the body. The principal barrier is constituted by a layer of skin cells around a few microns thick, known as the "stratum corneum". Despite being so thin, this layer effectively protects us from e.g. bacteria and viruses.

The skin, however, is not adapted to deal with and prevent absorption of many of the chemicals that we are exposed to today. This may lead to various types of diseases, such as contact allergy, which affects approximately 20% of people in Sweden.

The work presented in Carl Simonsson's thesis describes the use of an advanced form of light microscopy known as "two-photon microscopy", which makes it possible to follow substances absorbed into the skin. The method is unique in that it allows us to see not only how well a substance is absorbed, but also what happens to it, and the location in the skin that the substance eventually comes to.

The skin barrier and the way in which various substances are absorbed are highly significant also for the development of new drugs. Creams and ointments are for many reasons an interesting alternative to tablets, which have to be taken by mouth. The barrier properties of the skin may in this case present an obstacle to drug absorption, making it difficult for sufficient amounts of the drug to penetrate the skin to give a clinical effect.

"We have used two-photon microscopy to study a new type of ointment that it may be possible to use to improve the absorption, and thus the clinical effect, of certain drugs that are used on the skin", says Carl Simonsson.

The thesis has been successfully defended.

This PhD project has been conducted under the auspices of the Centre for Skin Research, SkinResGU (, which is a newly formed multidisciplinary research centre at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, focused on investigating the molecular processes that are involved when the skin is exposed to drugs, chemicals, nanoparticles and radiation.

Carl Simonsson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>