The tape stripping procedure--evaluation of some critical parameters.

Research paper by J J Lademann, U U Jacobi, C C Surber, H-J HJ Weigmann, J W JW Fluhr

Indexed on: 09 Sep '08Published on: 09 Sep '08Published in: European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics


Tape stripping is a simple and efficient method for the assessment of quality and efficacy of cosmetical and dermatological formulations. After topical application and penetration of formulations, the cell layers of the stratum corneum are successively removed from the same skin area using adhesive films. The tape strips contain the amount of corneocytes and the corresponding amount of the penetrated formulation, which can be determined by classical analytical chemical methods. Different formulations can strongly influence the amount of stratum corneum removed with every tape strip. Therefore, it is essential for the comparison of the penetration of different formulations that the amount of formulation detected on the single tape strip is not related to the tape strip number as a relative measure of the penetration depths, but to their standardized real position in the stratum corneum. Therefore, different methods are reported for the determination of the amount of stratum corneum removed with every tape strip. The tape stripping method in its standardized form is well-suited to determine the dermatopharmacokinetics of topically applied substances. Additionally, the method can be used to obtain information about the homogeneity and the distribution of formulations on the skin and in the stratum corneum. This is used, e.g., for the determination of the homogeneity of the distribution and the ex vivo determination of a universal sun protection factor (USPF) characterizing the efficacy of sunscreens.