Miniature swine are a recognized predictive model for human drug candidate dermatopharmacology studies. Tape stripping is a simple and effective method for removing the stratum corneum(SC) and is commonly employed during in vivo studies investigating the percutaneous penetration and disposition of topically applied candidate drugs. The objective of this study was to assess the remaining thickness of the SC following 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 repetitions of tape. Animals were young adult, male Yucatan miniature swine weighing 33-36kg (N=3). Animals were maintained under general anesthesia for the entire duration of the procedures. Following clipping of the pelage over the dorsal lumbar and thoracic areas, 6 sites, approximately 5cm by 5cm, were demarcated and skin was stripped using U-Line 1.8mm clear acrylic adhesive tape applied with uniform, firm pressure. Following tape applications, the center of the each test area was punch biopsied (8mm) and samples fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin. Samples were processed, stained by H&E, and read under light microscopy. The results showed an inverse pattern to the number of tape stripping repetitions. Fifty passes were required to remove nearly all SC. These data demonstrate that removal of the SC from skin is directly dependent stripping technique, and that up to 50 repetitions might be necessary for adequate and consistent removal.
Horlen, K.P., Brown, L., Hanks, B.C., Wicks, J., Liu, J., Bouchard, G.F.