In vivo measurement of the surface energy of human fingernail plates

Murdan, S., Poojary, C., Patel, D.R., Fernandes, J., Haman, A., Saundh, P.S. and Sheikh, Z. (2012) In vivo measurement of the surface energy of human fingernail plates. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34 (3). pp. 257-262. 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00711.x.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00711.x


The surface energy of the human nail plate is expected to influence the adhesion of microorganisms (and subsequent colonisation and infections) as well as that of medicines (and subsequent drug permeation) and of cosmetics. The aim of the study was therefore to measure the surface energy of nail plates in vivo. The surface energy of healthy human fingernails (untreated, hydrated and abraded) and of hoof membranes (often used as a model for the nailplate) was estimated from contact angle measurements of liquids (water, formamide, diiodomethane and glycerol) on the nail plate and subsequent computation using the Lifshitz-van der Waals/acid-base (LW-AB) approach. The surface energy of untreated fingernail plates was found to be 34 mJ/m2. Most of this total energy was from the apolar Lifshitz-van der Waals component. When the polar component of the surface energy was analysed, the electron-donor component was considerably larger than the electron-acceptor one. Hydrating the nail plate had no significant influence on the surface energy. In contrast, abrasion caused a small, but statistically significant increase in the apolar surface energy component. The surface energy of bovine hoof membrane was similar to that of the fingernail plate. We conclude that the human fingernail plate is a low-energy surface, and that bovine hoof membranes may be used as a substitute for the nail plate in certain experiments.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:nail, surface energy, hydration, abrasion, hoof
Departments, units and centres:Department of Pharmaceutics > Department of Pharmaceutics
ID Code:2804
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Cosmetic Science
Deposited By:Library Staff
Deposited On:23 Feb 2012 09:52
Last Modified:22 Jun 2012 16:21


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