The TenSkin™ portfolio of ex vivo human skin models

Ten Bio was founded with a core aim to enhance pre-clinical skin testing and product development through the provision of our unique explant skin platform TenSkin™ to the labs of the leading companies in several sectors including: aesthetics, cosmetics, biopharma and med tech with wound management. However, our early traction was in fact gained with contracts specifying that the Ten Bio team use our TenSkin™ units in our labs to design and execute experiments on behalf of our growing list of clients. We had become overnight a service and research partner company.

Since launch the expertise and application of our team’s talents have been highly prized by our clients. The provision of these research partnering services specifically tailored to address the given research question being asked provides significant value to our clients. However, the unique attributes of TenSkin™ and its ability to closely mimic the responses of treatments in vivo remain absolutely core to the Ten Bio proposition.  Since our launch we have worked hard to raise the awareness and experience of our target audience to the differentiating attributes of TenSkin™. The results that can be derived from the application of TenSkin™ are impressive because of the integrity of the skin’s physiology that is maintained by the re-introduction of tension to the skin tissue. The restoration of the skin’s mechanical homeostasis is also important for many complex physiological functions. In September 2023, a publication1  from the Valacchi group at NC State highlighted how tension can act ‘as a key factor in skin responses to pollution’.

As the popularity of TenSkin™ has grown, we have grown the range of model variants available to our clients. Having the opportunity to work in a research partner role, places us in a prime position to understand the needs of our clients and the fields in which they operate. This ‘voice of customer’ is routinely discussed at management meetings and actioned so that our product development is defined by need and is not ‘technology led.’

Building on our initial offering, the TenSkin™ TS-18, which offers 2.5 cm2 (18 mm diameter) of viable full-thickness human skin, our range now includes:

  • The TS-25 and TS-40 large area models, offering 4.9 cm2 and 12.5 cm2 areas of useable skin, respectively. These variants emerged from interesting and productive collaborations in the fields of aesthetic medical device development (e.g., micro-needling), and novel drug delivery system evaluations (e.g., microneedle array patches, and novel injectors).
  • The TSW-18 wounded model, available in two sub-variants either wounded by precision fractional laser ablation or shallow biopsy incision, has been used across a wide variety of fields ranging from the evaluation of OTC treatments to military applications involving decontamination of simulated battlefield wounds in the presence of chemical agents.
  • The TSA-18 adipose model, which retains an 8 mm thick layer of hypodermis, initially developed for applications in aesthetic dermatology for the evaluation of hyaluronic acid fillers delivered through subcutaneous injection. Applications in other areas of injection delivery, e.g., therapeutic and vaccine, are also possible.

Our continued commitment lies in providing bespoke products and services that transcend industry standards, ensuring that every project finds its unique pathway to success. By offering these models as both part of our specialised research partnering services and as ready-to-use models shipped directly to customers labs, we have enabled access to our TenSkin™ technology globally. Our expert team is ready to engage, to learn of your precise needs and work towards generating tailored solutions for your R&D programs.   

Michael Conneely March 2024

  1. Erika Pambianchi, Zachary Hagenberg, Alessandra Pecorelli, Arianna Pasqui, Jean‑Philippe Therrien, Giuseppe Valacchi.Tension as a key factor in skin responses to pollution. Sci Rep 13, 16013 (2023).