Skin Barrier Assessments with EIS

Nevisense ability to objectively measure skin barrier function brings a new level of insight into the research field of a broad range of studies looking at the function of the skin barrier. Nevisense has been shown to be a useful tool in looking at atopic disorders, such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and allergy, but can also be useful when looking at wound healing, and even aesthetic attributes. The Nevisense Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) method has been shown to be an effective and reproducible tool for both in- vivo and ex- vivo studies.Compared to Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), EIS is less sensitive to artifacts and does not need any acclimatization.

Previous work

SciBase’s Nevisense device uses Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The system is FDA-approved for use in cancer detection and now is being brought to a new clinical area, barrier-related disorders. Building on work done within AD by SciBase’s founder, Professor Stig Ollmar, over a decade ago, our current research aims to establish a method to assess the skin barrier function in vivo. This novel method can be used as a diagnostic tool for barrier-related inflammatory disorders of the skin, such as AD (please see section 2 in Publications).

Recent studies

A date study entitled ‘Direct assessment of skin epithelial barrier by electrical impedance spectroscopy’ (See:, was published in the journal Allergy, European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and demonstrates that ‘Electrical Impedance spectroscopy is a rapid and reliable diagnostic tool to detect skin barrier defects.’ The study illustrates the potential for the use of Nevisense in the routine clinical evaluation of the skin barrier and the investigation of barrier-related disorders.

Another study presented in Allergy, titled “Electrical impedance spectroscopy for the characterization of skin barrier in atopic dermatitis” (See: shows that Nevisense is a useful tool to detect skin barrier dysfunction in vivo. EIS is valuable for the assessment of AD severity, progression, and therapy efficacy in a clinical setting.

Future vision

The future vision for Nevisense in the barrier indication is to be used as a device that investigates the skin barrier quickly and easily in a routine clinical setting (e.g. to assess treatment responses or to identify skin barrier defective patients). Early detection of skin barrier-defective babies before AD symptoms present is an unmet need. Early AD identification would allow babies to be included in skin barrier protection programs to prevent the development of AD. AD affects more than 10% of the world’s population and 80% of these patients are babies. The breadth of the potential applications is extraordinary – disorders such as eczema, food allergies, and asthma, and even some gastrointestinal disorders involve the barrier.

The Role of the skin barrier 

There is an increasing focus on the importance of the skin barrier in the development, characterization, and management of atopic disorders. Barrier defects have been reported in atopic dermatitis (AD), asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, allergic rhinitis, esophagitis, and colitis. Assessment of barrier function provides insight into these disorders, but the assessment of the skin barrier has to date been limited to research methods that are not suited for clinical use. Atopic dermatitis (AD), also referred to as eczema, is the most common complex chronic inflammatory skin disease. It is well known that an impaired skin barrier is a critical factor in the development of AD/eczema. Skin barrier dysfunction can lead to the development of AD, and poor skin barrier function at birth is predictive of the development of atopic dermatitis.

It has also been shown that AD or impaired skin barrier often precedes food allergy. Reduced skin barrier function allows environmental food allergens to penetrate the skin, leading to systemic allergen sensitization. This disease progression is called “The atopic march” and refers to the natural progression of atopic diseases from AD in infancy to atopic asthma in school age children.

A new disease model, “The epithelial barrier hypothesis” has been presented in an article in the journal Nature Reviews (Akdis et al, “Does the epithelial barrier hypothesis explain the increase in allergy, autoimmunity and other chronic conditions?” Nature Reviews 2021). The research is grounded in the fact that there has been a steep increase in allergic and autoimmune diseases, affecting more than one billion people worldwide. Intact skin and mucosal barriers are crucial for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis as they protect host tissues from infections, environmental toxins, pollutants, and allergens. A defective epithelial barrier has been demonstrated in allergic and autoimmune conditions such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and many more diseases. The epithelial barrier hypothesis proposes that the increase in epithelial barrier-damaging agents linked to industrialization, urbanization, and modern life is associated with the rise in allergies, autoimmune, and other chronic conditions. The hypothesis is also presented in a video, please follow this link:

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