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Development of new skin models for dermatological research

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Publié le vendredi 24 février 2023

On 15-17 February 2023, the European Network for Skin Engineering and Modeling NETSKINMODELS was officially launched during the kick-off meeting, which took place in Bratislava. Gathering around 70 partners including the University of Luxembourg, this four-year project aims to create a scientific hub of excellence encompassing research institutions, hospitals, and industries to develop, share and produce sophisticated cell-based and computational models of healthy and diseased skin.

Limits of current skin models

Over the past years, investigative and experimental dermatology has developed various approaches, ranging from utilisation of ex-vivo skin tissues to establishment of reconstructed in-vitro and in-silico skin models as tools in both basic and translational skin research. These models have great  potential as pre-clinical models to further reduce  experiments in animals. Nevertheless, current skin models need standardisation, to gain  wider acceptance by the scientific community and regulatory bodies. This new COST action will foster the necessary cross talk between relevant stakeholders, regulatory bodies, basic scientists, clinicians, and industry.

New interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach

Coordinated initiatives will drive the development and validation of standout sophisticated cell-based and computational skin models, including the development of artificial intelligence models for dermatological research. Furthermore, the project has ambitions to develop ethical and sustainable reagents required for the elaboration of organotypic skin models, based on a strong partnerships between academia and industries.

Great potential impacts

The development of standout skin models will advance the field of dermatology and likely beyond, by providing the scientific community and society with clinically relevant models that could be translated into novel research strategies, therapeutic approaches, patient care and prediction of disease evolution and comorbidities. The use of sophisticated 3D skin models will also help optimise drug delivery through human skin.

Stephanie Kreis, Professor within the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine at the University of Luxembourg participated in the kick-off meeting. More specifically, she will work within the working group dedicated to sophistication of cell-based models of skin diseases, in particularly melanoma skin cancer. Stephanie is excited to take part in this European project: “I am looking forward to interact with excellent players in my field of research. Together with the colleagues and institutes present in Bratislava we plan to develop sophisticated in vitro skin models, which will replace many animal experiments in the near future and provide more meaningful pre-clinical model systems to study diseases and evaluate drug efficiencies”

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