Designing models
Designing models for tomorrow
security and efficacy assessment
Discovering the “sponge” model
Within the predictive biology molecule research department, scientists at L'Oréal are working to elaborate new models of reconstructed skin, with properties close to those of human skin. The aim is to create predictive tools, used before product development, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the ingredients used in their composition. These reconstructed skin models will also be used downstream, to identify new molecules, new biological targets, as active ingredients to combat skin ageing for example.

Original technology
One of these is the “sponge” model. This new model takes its name from the technology used. In effect, the dermis is reconstituted from cells deposited on a collagen sponge. It is in this three-dimensional structure that the cells synthesize the macromolecules needed to construct the equivalent of the dermis.
Using this technology, it is possible to obtain complex tissue, the elasticity of which is close to that of human skin. This “sponge” model has huge potential. It allows more exhaustive knowledge of the properties of the active ingredients studied to be obtained, and as a result to improve their combinations.
The sponge model is used in the “knowledge department”, where new targets are identified. In particular, those that will lead to the creation of ingredients to fight against skin ageing.
Thanks to collaboration between the various research and development units within the L’Oréal group, transfer of know-how enables the knowledge department to manufacture and adapt its own models of reconstructed skin.

Creating the collagen base
Creation of a culture support, made of collagen, to promote growth and subsequent differentiation (required for the next steps) of skin cells. The cells are deposited on a collagen membrane fixed in a mold created by the L’Oréal teams. Thirteen days later, this culture is used to reconstitute an epidermis.

Industrial production
The constraints of industrial-scale production have been integrated throughout the development process of the sponge model. 5000 units have already been produced and 5000 others are currently being produced as part of the industrialization validation process. Ultimately, the worldwide center for predictive evaluation will be able to produce these “sponge” tissues on a large scale, by Gerland Center for Predictive Evaluation.

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J. Cotovio, Predictive Models & Methods


Tissue Engineering & Alternatives Methods
SOT 2014, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, March 2014

The 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Toxicology (SOT 2014) and ToxExpo will take place in Phoenix, Arizona in March 23rd-27th, 2014.