Chemical, cosmetic, and other personal care companies must follow strict guidelines in order to manufacture and market their products globally. For example, a European regulatory standard called REACH supports better protection of both human and environmental health and holds manufacturing companies responsible for recognizing and identifying potentially-harmful chemical properties. Similarly, the FDA regulates cosmetics available to consumers in the United States. Unfortunately, determining whether chemical compounds—and thus emerging products—are safe for human application usually necessitates testing on either animal or human skin. And incomplete knowledge of the biological and/or chemical mechanics behind these compounds has limited prior efforts to simulate alternative methods of testing.
Researchers from the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with colleagues from Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, are hoping to change the standards of cosmetic testing. They are developing a mathematical model to understand how chemical compounds are transported through—and consequently affect—biological tissues, such as skin. (more…)