Despite the enormous potential for pharmaceutical applications, there is still a lack of understanding of the molecular details that can contribute to increased permeability of the stratum corneum (SC). To investigate the influence of hydration and heating on the SC, we record the natural-abundance13C signal of SC using polarization transfer solid-state NMR methods. Resonance lines from all major SC components are assigned. Comparison of the signal intensities obtained with the INEPT and CP pulse sequences gives information on the molecular dynamics of SC components. The majority of the lipids are rigid at 32°C, and those lipids co-exist with a small pool of mobile lipids. The ratio between mobile and rigid lipids increases with hydration. An abrupt change of keratin filament dynamics occurs at RH = 80-85%, from completely rigid to a structure with rigid backbone and mobile protruding terminals. Heating has a strong effect on the lipid mobility, but only a weak influence on the keratin filaments. The results provide novel molecular insight into how the SC constituents are affected by hydration and heating, and improve the understanding of enhanced SC permeability, which is associated with elevated temperatures and SC hydration. © 2013 Björklund et al.
Björklund, S., Nowacka, A., Bouwstra, J. A., Sparr, E., & Topgaard, D. (2013). Characterization of Stratum Corneum Molecular Dynamics by Natural-Abundance 13 C Solid-State NMR. PLoS ONE, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061889