The skin is the principal barrier between self- and non-self and it protects us from microorganisms, chemicals and UV radiation. Sometimes the skin fails to protect and that can result in contact allergy and its clinical manifestation allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) or cancer. Even though contact allergy affects 15 - 20% of the population; the molecular events resulting from exposure of the skin to chemicals are poorly understood, something that also impairs the development of transdermal drug delivery systems.
It is thus important to understand, in molecular detail, the entire process of ACD. Our research is focused on the interactions between organic molecules and macromolecules in the skin. Apparently harmless compounds can also cause damage and we are investigating the activation that occurs through air exposure or through metabolism in the skin.
The research comprehends a uniquely broad area of scientific disciplines; such as chemical synthesis and analytical work, bioimaging, immunology, dendritic cell biology, sensitization studies and clinical investigations.
The results will help aiding in prevention of ACD and provide guidelines in legislative issues, while simultaneously acquiring knowledge regarding how to design efficient transdermal drug delivery systems.