A critical analysis of single-frequency LCR databridge impedance measurements of human skin.

Research paper by Erick A EA White, Mark E ME Orazem, Annette L AL Bunge

Indexed on: 01 Feb '11Published on: 01 Feb '11Published in: Toxicology in Vitro


Testing whether the barrier of skin samples has sufficient integrity for meaningful measurements of in-vitro chemical permeability is usually required when data are generated for regulatory purposes. Recently, skin integrity has been assessed using LCR databridge measurements, which are reported as resistances determined in either series (SER) or parallel (PAR) modes at a single frequency, typically 100 or 1000Hz. Measurements made at different combinations of mode and frequency are known to differ, although the skin literature reveals confusion over the meaning of these differences and the impact on the interpretation of integrity test results. Here, the theoretical meanings of resistance and capacitance measurements in PAR and SER mode are described and confirmed experimentally. SER-mode resistances are equal to the real part of the complex impedance; whereas, PAR-mode resistances are the inverse of the real part of the admittance. Capacitance measurements reported in SER and PAR modes are similar manipulations of the imaginary parts of the complex impedance and admittance. A large body of data from human cadaver skin is used to show that the PAR-mode resistance and SER-mode capacitance measured at 100Hz are sensitive to skin resistivity, which is the electrical measurement most closely related to skin integrity.