Nobel Prize 2021

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 has been jointly awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch. Discover the corresponding 3D in vitro skin model co-developed by Neuron Experts and StratiCELL.

Every day we sense our environment. Unconsciously, we feel surrounding objects, other living organisms, and even temperature changes. External information is fundamental for our nervous system to perceive and adapt to the world around us, but the but the regulating mechanisms remained unveiled. Thanks to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, we now know that skin receptors are the key to our perception of heat, cold and mechanical force. Their discovery on epidermal TRP-like receptors (Transient Receptor Potential) deeply help us understand our sensations and how we can regulate them. 

David Julius started its researches in the late 90th using capsaicin from chili peppers to identify the TRPV1 receptor, an ion channel activated by painful heat. He identified that communication to the nervous system is ensure by the neurotransmitter CGRP (Calcitonin Gene Related-Peptide). Reducing the release of CGRP can therefore reduce uncomfortable pain.

Given the importance to solve excessive pain and itching occurring in skin diseases such as atopic eczema, access to in vitro models became highly important to discover new curative ingredients. This is why StratiCELL (BE) and Neuron Experts (FR) recently join forces to develop a unique in vitro 3D sensory skin model of cocultured reconstructed human epidermis and human sensory neurons, respectively. In this combined model, human sensory neurons are derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and are growing in the immediate vicinity of 3D reconstructed human epidermis. In this system, a release of CGRP by human sensory neurons was measured after stimulation with capsaicin. This innovative skin model allows to study the soothing properties of dermo-cosmetic ingredients or formulated products, and opens the field of the “neurocosmetic” trend.

Visit our web page here to know more about available neurocosmetic models.