Skin permeation of nickel, cobalt and chromium salts in ex vivo human skin, visualized using mass spectrometry imaging
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Skin permeation and distribution of three of the most common skin sensitizers was investigated using a previously developed animal-free exposure method combined with imaging mass spectrometry. Nickel, cobalt, and chromium (III) salts were dissolved in a buffer and exposed to human skin ex vivo, to be analyzed using time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Our findings demonstrate that metal haptens mainly accumulated in the stratum corneum, however all three metal sensitizers could also be detected in the epidermis. Cobalt and chromium (III) species penetrated into the epidermis to a larger extent than nickel species. The degree of penetration into the epidermis is suggested to be affected by the sensitization potency of the metal salts, as well as their speciation, i.e. the amount of the respective metal present in the solution as bioaccessible and solubilised ions. Our method provided permeation profiles in human skin for known sensitizers, on a level of detail that is not possible to achieve by other means. The findings show that the permeation profiles are different, despite these sensitizers being all metal ions and common causes of contact allergy. Studying skin uptake by only considering penetration through the skin might therefore not give accurate results.

Skin permeation

Skin sensitizers


Chemical speciation modelling




Lina Hagvall

Sahlgrenska universitetssjukhuset

Göteborgs universitet

Masoumeh Dowlatshahi Pour

Göteborgs universitet

Jiabao Feng

Student vid Chalmers

Moshtak Karma

Göteborgs universitet

Y. Hedberg

Western University

Per Malmberg

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Toxicology in Vitro

0887-2333 (ISSN) 18793177 (eISSN)

Vol. 76 105232


Dermatologi och venereologi

Medicinsk laboratorie- och mätteknik

Analytisk kemi


Infrastruktur för kemisk avbildning





Mer information

Senast uppdaterat