It is well known that lipids (fatty substances) can have a positive effect on skin. A new project at the FRAME laboratory will enable close investigation of how lipids are absorbed to create those effects. The project will involve building three-dimensional models from keratinocytes, fibroblasts, melanocytes and immune cells. They will be isolated directly from ethically obtained skin samples, donated to Nottingham’s City Hospital biobank by patients undergoing mastectomies.

Results from animal-based models are questionable because mouse skin differs from human skin in significant ways, both in structure and function. Once the new model is complete it will be possible to compare results from the new structures with those obtained using the actual skin samples from which they were derived, in order to demonstrate their accuracy.