In the last decade, the application of nanotechnology techniques has expanded within diverse areas such as pharmacology, medicine, and optical science. Despite such wide-ranging possibilities for implementation into practice, the mechanisms behind nanoparticle skin absorption remain unknown. Moreover, the main mode of investigation has been qualitative analysis. Using interactive segmentation, this study suggests a method of objectively and quantitatively analyzing the mechanisms underlying the skin absorption of nanoparticles. Silica nanoparticles (SNPs) were assessed using transmission electron microscopy and applied to the human skin equivalent model. Captured fluorescence images of this model were used to evaluate degrees of skin penetration. These images underwent interactive segmentation and image processing in addition to statistical quantitative analyses of calculated image parameters including the mean, integrated density, skewness, kurtosis, and area fraction. In images from both groups, the distribution area and intensity of fluorescent silica gradually increased in proportion to time. Since statistical significance was achieved after 2 days in the negative charge group and after 4 days in the positive charge group, there is a periodic difference. Furthermore, the quantity of silica per unit area showed a dramatic change after 6 days in the negative charge group. Although this quantitative result is identical to results obtained by qualitative assessment, it is meaningful in that it was proven by statistical analysis with quantitation by using image processing. The present study suggests that the surface charge of SNPs could play an important role in the percutaneous absorption of NPs. These findings can help achieve a better understanding of the percutaneous transport of NPs. In addition, these results provide important guidance for the design of NPs for biomedical applications.
- Human skin equivalent model
- Skin penetration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Computer Science Applications