Our study presents a new method for tracking nanoparticle penetration through different layers of the skin using near-infrared dye-loaded nanoparticles (hydrodynamic diameter = 156 nm) and optical imaging. The dye-loaded nanoparticles were mixed in a topical skin cream, applied to human cadaver skin and incubated either for three or 24 h post-application, skin tissue was clipped between glass slides prior to imaging for signal intensity across the skin thickness using an optical imaging system. The data show that nanoparticles penetrate through all the layers of the skin but there is almost an exponential decay in the signal intensity from epidermis to dermis. Depending upon the incubation time, about 55%–59% of the total signal was seen in the epidermis and the remaining through dermis and hypodermis. The advantage of the method is that it allows quantitative analysis of the extent of penetration of nanoparticles through different layers of the skin without interference of any background signal from skin tissue, and without requiring extensive tissue processing. Our method could potentially be used to study the effect of nanoparticle properties and/or the use of different formulation additives on penetration of nanoparticles through different skin layers.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited