Noninvasive Skin-Harvesting Tape Developed

Originally Published MDDI July 2003R&D DIGEST

July 1, 2003

2 Min Read
Noninvasive Skin-Harvesting Tape Developed

Originally Published MDDI July 2003


The new skin-harvesting tapes require fewer sampling attempts.

Skin harvesting has been shown to be effective in aiding diagnosis of certain skin conditions, as well as diseases such as melanoma. But the practice has certain drawbacks, particularly patient discomfort. To address these limitations, Adhesives Research Inc. (Glen Rock, PA) has collaborated with DermTech International (San Diego) to develop a medical-grade adhesive tape for use in noninvasive skin-havesting applications. Among the intended uses are skin safety testing, diagnostic analysis, therapeutic monitoring, and delivery of biological molecules.

Although tape harvesting is a well-known method in dermatology, it has been used primarily for the recovery of proteins and small molecules from the stratum corneum. Commercially available skin-stripping tapes adequate for these functions have not produced good results when isolating RNA and DNA from nucleic acids in the upper epidermis and typically lack key requirements such as conformability, initial tack, and biocompatibility. Further, tape harvesting by repeated applications frequently creates discomfort for the patient.

According to Adhesives Research, DermTech has used the skin-havesting tape to demonstrate the feasibility of extracting the RNA component from recovered nucleic acids found in skin cells. The extracted components can be used for analysis of irritant contact dermatitis, the firm indicates. This noninvasive skin-havesting technique, known as epidermal genetic information retrieval (EGIR), provides a method for capturing skin cells that yield measurable RNA. The skin-havesting tape forms an aggressive bond to remove enough stratum corneum for analysis with significantly fewer repetitions than conventional tapes.

Both the skin care and medical diagnostics markets have been able to use EGIR methods to isolate nucleic acids. Skin-havesting tape applications under development for the skin care industries include differentiating allergenic and irritant skin reactions, predicting irritant reactions, and documenting claims. Uses include early diagnosis of melanoma, classification of pigmented skin lesions, assessment and monitoring of psoriatic skin lesions, and measurement of the amount of exposure to metal and metal-based compounds that are toxic to biological systems.

Copyright ©2003 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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