The use of human ex-vivo skin offers several key advantages in comparison to the use of either cells or reconstructed models:

  • preserved barrier function & permeability
  • surface water activity
  • dermis matrix structure, strength & resilience
  • the presence of the skin annexes and cells that have a pivotal role in maintaining the correct skin metabolism, such as the pilo-sebaceous unit, Langerhans cells, sweat glands, subcutis.

Our human ex-vivo skin model is the preferred technology for the efficacy testing of  finished formulations.


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Cutech and Symrise have collaborated to set up specific skin models and protocols with the aim to investigate the risk factors for human skin due to environmental exposures, such as air pollution, UV and/or visible light.

Photoaging - UV and VL (Visible Light)

Read-out parameters related to tissue damage (i.e. sunburn cells, p53, etc), oxidative damage (i.e. ROS, AGEs, CPD, etc), as well as markers of aging (i.e. collagen, elastin, etc) can be evaluated following irradiation with UVA, UVB, UVA/UVB or visible light.


Pollution alters the barrier function of the skin triggering a snowball effect that over time can cause dramatic damages. Following application of particulate matter at the skin surface, changes in tissue viability, oxidation, barrier integrity, inflammation and skin pigmentation can be evaluated.  Different culture conditions are applied depending on the samples to be tested (film-forming compounds or others).


Oxidative damage can be investigated in the different skin compartments by detecting ROS, protein or lipid oxidation, DNA damage and glycation.


Due to its resemblance to the in-vivo situation, our full-thickness ex-vivo skin model is the best performing platform to evaluate the efficacy and the mechanisms of action of anti-aging products.

The analysis of the efficacy of anti-aging products can include the evaluation of a wide number of biomarkers at the tissue, cellular and molecular level. The selected read-outs allow to investigate aging in connection to various approaches in relation to skin barrier, skin regeneration, matrix protection and regeneration, oxidative stress, cell metabolism, and DNA integrity. For a list of selected read-outs, please refer to our catalogue.

Skin Tests Intrinsic Aging - Skin - CK14

Skin - CK14

Skin Tests Intrinsic Aging - Skin Tenascin C

Skin - Tenascin C

Skin Tests Intrinsic Aging - Skin - Picrosirius Red

Skin - Picrosirius Red


The skin barrier is of pivotal importance for the natural metabolism of the skin. Our ex-vivo model, perfectly resembling the in-vivo situation, is the best pre-clinical model to evaluate any change in this area and its possible drawbacks including changes in moisturization. To evaluate skin barrier modification we can propose the analysis of filaggrins, cytokeratins, involucrin and other read-outs.
For a list of selected read-outs, please refer to our catalogue.


In addition to the evaluation of the melanin and melanocytes amount, it is possible to also evaluate the tyrosinase activity and expression.


The potential modulation of Interleukins, PGE2, TNF-alpha due to anti-inflammatory compounds can be investigated also following the treatment of pro-inflammatory stimuli (i.e. UV, IL-1a, SDS).


We have set-up specific protocols to totally remove either the stratum corneum or the epidermis. In case of stratum corneum regeneration, we evaluate both its renewal and specific parameters such as cytokeratin 14, 10, involucrin. In case of epidermal regeneration the degree of recovery is quantified.