How does Labskin compare to other 3D human skin models?

Published: 24-Jan-2022

A recent study at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine independently tested Labskin’s full thickness human skin model, further validating its expertise in the skin microbiome

Labskin’s 15 years of laboratory skin science expertise is invaluable in providing Skin Trust Club members with unbiased, scientifically-tested skincare product recommendations tailored to their individual skin needs. An at-home microbiome skin swab test combined with powerful bioinformatics, AI algorithms and extensive knowledge of the skin microbiome allows for a truly personalised customer experience.

How Does Labskin Compare?

A recent study at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine independently tested Labskin’s full thickness human skin model, further validating its expertise in the skin microbiome. The Jackson Laboratory offer an unbiased comparison of three commercially available human model systems for skin microbiome research applications, in which Labskin comes out on top.

According to the study, one 3D human skin equivalent provider, MatTek, produces EpiDerm which is comprised of reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) differentiated from human foreskin-derived epidermal keratinocytes. Labskin is not an RHE but a full-thickness skin equivalent (HSE) with dermis and epidermis. This means Labskin is better suited to supporting the skin’s natural microflora, partly due to an additional thick dermal matrix constructed from fibroblasts. The third model system investigated was Genoskin’s NativeSkin which are skin biopsies from living human donors.

In order to compare the performance of each system when modelling skin microbiota, four common skin commensals were applied (Corynebacterium, Micrococcus, Cutibacterium and Staphylococcus). After allowing the bacterial communities to equilibrate for 5-7 days, samples were collected for colony forming unit (CFU) analysis, qPCR and 16S rRNA sequencing. The predicted microorganisms were detected on all models with composition varying between models, as well as by donor in the case of NativeSkin biopsies.

Key Findings

The study demonstrates that Labskin yields the most consistent results for microbiome studies. This is crucial for reproducibility of experimental research, as well as for reliably testing the effects of cosmetic, skincare and pharmaceutical products on the microbiome.

Labskin was also shown to be better at hosting anaerobic Cutibacterium than EpiDerm, though less Cutibacterium were present compared to NativeSkin. This is due to the fact that HSE models do not contain hair follicles which is where these bacteria typically reside. However, Labskin, is able to compensate for this using techniques that mimic the Cutibacterium acnes excess linked to acne.

Another benefit of Labskin, is that HSEs are a sterile model ready for colonisation by the desired microbes. As NativeSkin consist of explants from living donors, remnants of the donor’s microbiome can be found on the skin and interfere with experimentally applied organisms. Consequently, Labskin is arguably a better model for skin microbiome research.

The Future Of Skin Microbiome Research

As the importance of the skin microbiome becomes even clearer, human skin models like Labskin will continue to play a key role in this research field. Further studies will address areas such as the current knowledge gaps in microbiome dysbiosis and improve understanding of associated skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Already, Labskin and Skin Trust Club are bridging the gap between consumers and researchers – empowering customers to know their skin and understand the effects that cosmetic and skincare products will have on their microbiome and overall skin health.

Read the detailed study here

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