Reporter skin allows cell stress to be measured visually in a living model
The safety of new chemical substances to humans must be demonstrated before they can be launched on the market in the form in cosmetics, cleaning agents, clothing or industrial chemicals, their safety to humans must be demonstrated. For example, in-vitro tissue models can replace animal testing in this context. However, substance testing with skin models has so far proven to be tedious, non-specific and non-standardized. To determine whether a substance damages skin cells, various cells have to be cultivated and expanded and sections of the tissue model have to be prepared and compared with controls under the microscope.
It was my goal to establish a model that allows to create a rapidly and accurate result when testing different chemicals. The solution is our patented reporter skin, which we have developed and optimized through years of research. By genetically modifying skin cells, we can now use different reporter skin models to distinguish between major cell stress responses such as inflammation, oxidative stress or stress of the endoplasmatic reticulum. This method visualizes whether a substance for cosmetics or new chemicals damages human skin cells thanks to a reporter gene activated via the cellular signal cascade, allowing for quick and easy identification. For this, only culture medium has to be taken and the results can also be quantified.
My next goal is to get our model approved by regulatory authorities!