Two-dimensional description of absorption in humans after dermal exposure to volatile organic compounds

Laurent Simon, Juan Ospina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A two-dimensional diffusion model was developed to predict the absorption of chemicals in humans following dermal contact. A firstorder evaporation rate equation was applied to the skin surface while a perfect-sink boundary condition was imposed at the stratum corneum/viable epidermis interface. Initially, there was a certain amount of the substance present within the stratum corneum at the end of the exposure period. Laplace transform techniques were implemented to solve the governing equations and to derive an expression for the time elapsed before reaching 90% of the final amount of chemical absorbed by the body. This index was 0.43, 2.67, 6.91, and 36.9 h for ethanol, diphenylamine, p-nitroaniline, and benzyl butyl-phthalate, respectively. Simulations show that surface evaporation is important for highly volatile compounds. A large fraction of the amount of poorly volatile compounds, available in the skin after exposure, was absorbed into the bloodstream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-704
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Diffusion
  • Drug delivery
  • Evaporation
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Simulation
  • Transport phenomena


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