Barrier Function and Differentiation
The development of an effective barrier is the most important result of keratinocyte differentiation.
The newest method for evaluating barrier function is raman spectroscopy. Using this method, the penetration of contrasting hydrophilic and hydrophhobic test compounds can be evaluated in the epidermis at 4 um increments.
In comparison with crude traditional methods, raman spectroscopy is both faster, and also delivers a detailed penetration profile that spans the entire epidermis (see image at left).
To complement an overall functional view of barrier function, it is also possible to evaluate the expression of specific differentiation markers in either 2D or 3D culture.