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Research project  |  Prof. dr. S. Pasmans

Raman spectroscopy in atopic dermatitis

Status: Ongoing

Changes in skin composition of patients with atopic dermatitis examined with Raman spectroscopy.

What we do

About our project

Background information 

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, but common in children and may alter their skin composition. Some of these alterations in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, can be examined using Raman spectroscopy.

We measure the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) concentration of children visiting the dermatologist in the KinderHaven outpatient clinic. NMF is essential in the skin’s barrier function, but can have a lower concentration in AD.

In a recently started new research project we measure the lipids and proteins in the skin. We hope to develop a tool with which the severity of AD can be precisely measured at any moment.

Overall aim 

The main goal of the Raman spectroscopy measurements is to further examine the roles of the NMF, lipid and protein concentrations in the pathogenesis of AD and to evaluate the clinical relevance of those measurements.

We mainly focus on exploring the associations of the NMF, lipid and protein concentrations with the severity of the disease and co-development of asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Research method 

The NMF concentration is measured on different places on the palm of the hand. The measurement is not painful, and is safe. A light beam shining on the skin measures the NMF concentration. The procedure takes approximately five minutes.

Likewise, the lipids and proteins are measured on the ventral forearm of those patients who are willing to participate in this measurement. These measurements, too, are not painful and not dangerous and are repeated a few times on different places on the arm. The procedure takes approximately ten minutes.

Desirable outcome

Through these measurements (NMF and lipids/proteins) we wish to learn more about the skin alterations in atopic dermatitis and to provide better and more personalized care to the children.