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Optimisation of human cutaneous inflammatory challenge models: the role of skin’s biophysical properties

Supervisors: James Fullerton, Richard Day, Majella Lane

Skin blisters generated on volunteers via either chemical application or physical means (suction) are extensively used in drug development. Acting as a controlled inflammatory insult (permitting access to cells and soluble mediators) they allow experimental assessment of a drugs effect of the immune system. A key problem with the technique however is inter-individual variability in response. This project seeks to explore the contribution of the biophysical properties of the skin to this. Working in the Division of Medicine and School of Pharmacy using multimodal techniques (including confocal Raman microscopy, tape stripping, trans-epidermal water loss, vascular laser Doppler, flow cytometry) the student(s) will seek to assess whether differences in biophysical metrics explain variance and whether they can be used to normalise responses. The project will be undertaken in conjunction with clinicians and biomedical scientists with industry links (GSK) and is anticipated to be of high clinical and pharmaceutical value.

Surface charge on insulators