I am Gopi Menon, and I have
been involved in research
on skin barrier for over 25 years.
And it's indeed a
privilege and an honor
to be presenting this topic for
the Henry Stewart series of talks.
Let us start with why barrier
is so important and interesting.
The outermost layer of
skin-- stratum corneum--
is impermeable to water.
It prevents efflux and influx
of water to and from the body.
This barrier allows survival in the
dessicating environment on land,
while still allowing
Unlike the other successful
like the insects, which have a rigid
cuticle coated with hydrocarbons,
mammals developed and evolved a
flexible and highly responsive
barrier, based on a protein
lipid composite structure.
The formation and
maintenance of this barrier
is regulated by a multitude of
internal and external factors,
and many aspects of these are still
being discovered, even as we speak.