Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Development of formulation for treatment of Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema (AE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. In the past few decades there is a strong increase in incidence, especially in children. Accumulating evidence indicates that the disease is related to an impaired barrier function of the skin.

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The stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of the skin, is responsible for the skin barrier function. The SC consists out of denucleated corneocytes in a lipid matrix. In patients with atopic eczema, the composition and structure of the lipids in the SC is altered.

The goal of this project is to develop a new formulation to induce skin barrier repair in AE patients. The formulation is based on vernix caseosa (VC), a white creamy layer covering a baby before and during delivery. The structure of this VC is very similar to that of the SC. To select the optimal lipid composition of VC to induce skin barrier repair,  a novel  ex vivo human skin barrier repair model was developed. With this model  the most effective composition  of VC was successfully selected. Currently this formulation is tested in clinical studies.

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