School of Pharmacy

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Madeline Berrow

Postgraduate Research Student,


Research Summary

Analysing chlorhexidine penetration through skin to optimise delivery to infected tissues.

Supervisors: Felicity de Cogan (, David Scurr (

My research explores the skin permeation of chlorhexidine, a common additive of surgical hand washes, surgical site and instrument sanitisers and for skin antisepsis pre-catheter implementation, to underpin its potential as a topical antiseptic for treating skin infections, including deep tissue infections. Optimising tissue permeation of chlorhexidine could offer an alternative therapy to treat 'difficult-to-treat' infections that would normally involve administration of strong antibiotics or antifungals, or in some cases, surgical removal of infected tissue.

My research involves test stripping native and chlorhexidine-treated human skin to:

  1. examine efficacy of the topical antiseptic by culturing remaining bacteria from skin samples
  2. characterise skin sections using ToF-SIMS allowing quantification of chlorhexidine permeation depth

School of Pharmacy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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