The removal of the stratum corneum (SC) using adhesive tapes is a common technique in cutaneous studies. The determination of the varying amounts of the SC removed would be a helpful tool in such investigations. In the present study, the cell layers of porcine SC were counted before and after removal of several tape strips using histological techniques. In addition, the pseudo-absorption of the corneocytes reflecting the amount of these cells was determined using spectroscopy. Different amounts of SC were removed using 20 tape strips. The spectroscopically determined data correlate linearly with the number of removed cell layers. Based on these results, the pseudo-absorption of the corneocytes can be used to calculate the absolute number of cell layers removed with a standard deviation of less than 11%. In this way, the SC can be quantified using the procedure of tape stripping in combination with the spectroscopic determination of the corneocytes.

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