Assessment of skin barrier function using skin images with topological data analysis

Keita Koseki, Hiroshi Kawasaki, Toru Atsugi, Miki Nakanishi, Makoto Mizuno, Eiji Naru, Tamotsu Ebihara, Masayuki Amagai, Eiryo Kawakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recent developments of molecular biology have revealed diverse mechanisms of skin diseases, and precision medicine considering these mechanisms requires the frequent objective evaluation of skin phenotypes. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is commonly used for evaluating skin barrier function; however, direct measurement of TEWL is time-consuming and is not convenient for daily clinical practice. Here, we propose a new skin barrier assessment method using skin images with topological data analysis (TDA). TDA enabled efficient identification of structural features from a skin image taken by a microscope. These features reflected the regularity of the skin texture. We found a significant correlation between the topological features and TEWL. Moreover, using the features as input, we trained machine-learning models to predict TEWL and obtained good accuracy (R2 = 0.524). Our results suggest that assessment of skin barrier function by topological image analysis is promising.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Journalnpj Systems Biology and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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