Skip to main content
  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Dec 13, 2018

Researchers Develop Human Skin Model with Neural and Immune Mechanisms

Study in a Sentence: Researchers at Tufts University have developed a new, more complex human skin model, using primary human cells, which have both neural and immune components replicating key functions of skin biology.

Healthy for Humans: Human cells are the preferred model environment to study human biological processes. The construction of this new system is essential to understanding the functions of human skin, including stimuli, sensation, immune, and neural responses. This human skin equivalent contains important cell types such as adipose, neural, and immune components, which add an additional layer of complexity to this model, compared to previous human skin equivalents. The additional intricacy will provide a deeper insight into poorly understood diseases, like psoriasis.

Redefining Research: This model is the first to include genes associated with skin development, hallmark adipogenesis, immune system process, inflammatory response, and nervous system development. These models could be used to identify specific targets of concern in skin research related to healthy or diseased states. Researchers now have a highly relevant, complete in vitro model for clinical and exploratory research involving human skin within their reach.


Vidal Yucha SE, Tamamoto KA, Nguyen H, et al. Human skin equivalents demonstrate need for neuro-immuno-cutaneous system. Advanced Biosystems. 2018. doi: 10.1002/adbi.201800283.

More on Ethical Science