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Improved skin model based on lanoline synthetic membranes

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Partner keyword: 
Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
Biochemistry / Biophysics
Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods
Health and beauty aids
Wholesale of perfume and cosmetics
Wholesale of pharmaceutical goods
Research and experimental development on biotechnology


A Spanish research institution has developed a lanolin-based synthetic membrane as percutaneous absorption model for transdermal delivery of actives studies. The system mimics mammalian skin models and may be used in screening tests to estimate the permeability of chemicals through human skin. Industrial partners from the cosmetic industry or dedicated to the manufacture of lab technologies interested in patent licensing and/or in a research collaboration are sought.



The assessment of percutaneous absorption of molecules is a key step in the evaluation of transdermal delivery of compounds.
Several models, including in vitro human and animal skin models or artificial skin models, have been developed to overcome ethical and economic issues related to in vivo human studies. However, the in vitro skin models are expensive, sensitive to storage and show high lot-to-lot variability, and the current polymeric artificial membrane skin models, even though reproducible, are only being used to study basic diffusion mechanisms because they are not always representative of human skin properties. Thus, alternative methods are needed to obtain reproducible and reliable data, which provide a meaningful prediction of the in vivo human situation.
The system presented is based on the addition of lanolin to synthetic commercial membranes, such as Nucleopore® or Strat-M®. The lanolin used, extracted from wool fibres, mimics the lipidic matrix of the stratum corneum of the skin, due to its similar chemical composition and properties. The system offers a suitable strategy to achieve accurate modelling of the skin barrier properties by combination of lanolin with synthetic membranes.
This model could be used in evaluating skin absorption, testing of cosmetic products and for the toxicological screening of topically or transdermal delivery of chemicals.
The Spanish research group has broad experience in the study of the absorption profile through the skin of any compound when it is topically applied, using mainly in vitro experimental methodologies.
The research centre is searching for a company interested in the development and commercialization of this new skin model under a license agreement.Companies should carry out either by themselves or through research collaboration some further optimisation to reach the market.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The lanolin-based membrane model: • Increases the barrier function of the synthetic membranes by means of a strong permeability reduction once lanolin is added (TEWL < 15 g/h m2, similar to porcine skin levels). • Mimics topical actives absorption in human skin, due to the lipid composition of the membrane obtained. • Shows similar absorption to that of porcine skin, tested with different actives. • Is a reliable and inexpensive alternative to human or animal skin models, improving properties of current commercial synthetic membranes.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Field tested/evaluated

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Cosmetic companies or lab technology manufacturers interested in the development and commercialization of this product under a patent license are sought. -Licensing agreement: the partner would license the technology to carry out the final development and commercialisation of a marketable product. -Research cooperation agreement: the partner and the institution could undertake a joint effort to further develop and optimise the product, addressing to specific needs of the market.


Franz cell with the lanolin-based membrane