Skin Absorption test

React4life has implemented a protocol to carry out absorption tests on test molecules by recreating the physiological environment in vitro.

Absorption critically determines the bioavailability of the compound. In order for a compound to reach a tissue, it usually needs to be included in the bloodstream – often through mucous surfaces such as the digestive tract (intestinal absorption) before it is absorbed by the target cells.

Factors such as poor solubility of the compounds, gastric emptying time, intestinal transit time, chemical instability in the stomach, and inability to permeate the intestinal wall allow to reduce the degree of absorption of a medical device after oral administration.

Topical substances can be absorbed through the skin tissue into the bloodstream, as topical treatments can be used as a vehicle to transport drugs and other substances into the body’s systemic circulation.
There are physiological and biological factors affecting skin penetration; local blood flow also plays a significant role.

Therefore, due to the complexity of replicating human skin under its living unique biological conditions, the open issue is to find a good in-vitro model able to mimic human epithelial behavior as in vivo. This would allow to test if skin care and cosmetics are able to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and if so, to what degree and to what effect.

The innovative solution proposed by React4life, for the in vitro absorption test, involves the use of the patented technology MIVO which is compatible with most epithelial tissues (e.g. skin, vaginal wall, oral mucosa) commercially available or recreated in the laboratory through cell cultures.

By connecting the MIVO with a peristaltic pump or syringe, it is possible to reproduce in vitro the systemic circulation that feeds the tissue and that influences the absorption kinetics that characterizes the real condition in vivo.


Highly reliable and fluid-dynamic in vitro assay, overpassing static tests and Franz cells
Quantitative output with statistical analysis on skin absorption of a test substance, without use of animal tests
Possibility to test skin care, cosmetics, medical devices and drugs absorption
Our technology is compatible with most epithelial tissues commercially available or recreated in the laboratory through cell cultures
Possibility to prove the skin absorption test effectiveness and support the related claim

An innovative solution to reproduce in vitro the systemic circulation that feeds the tissue and that influences the absorption kinetics that characterizes the real condition in vivo

Why a dermal test?

React4life patented an innovative method that allows the in vitro analysis and quantification of the skin absorption of skin care and/or substance-based medical devices. The fluidic device MIVO® (Multi In Vitro Organ) is able to host complex human skin tissues (cellular monolayers, reconstituted 3D skin models) and to mimic the living environment epithelial tissues. The patented method provides to carry out in vitro dermal absorption test, according to the OECD 428 guidelines.

The skin absorption test is conducted to determine the diffusion of chemicals into and across the human skin to a fluid receptor chamber. The assay allows to measure whether the skin care/medical device has the potential to be absorbed into the systemic circulation.

Medical Device
Cosmetic industry
Human Skin Vitro

This fluid-dynamic absorption test carefully determines the entranceinto the systemic circulation, thus resembling the compound’s bioavailability. The MIVO® device allows resembling the fluid-dynamic environment of the systemic circulation.

Results obtained with MIVO® device are in line with the in vivo experiments (i.e. pig skin and human epidermis sheets) contrarily to those obtained by using the Franz Cell. Moreover, using more realistic model like 3D human dermal tissue, it allows to better mimic interactions between drugs and the different compartments of the skin, thus achieving better and closer to human results.

Absorption test could be use also in other applications such as nutraceutical. Read our Intestinal absorption test.

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