Corneometry Instrument – Epsilon E100

Biox Systems is a leading developer and manufacturer of research-grade scientific instruments for analysis of bio-tissues such as skin, hair, and nails. Started in the year 2000, the company holds patents for numerous proprietary technologies. This is one of the important reasons why instruments from Biox Systems are preferred for research related to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and medical products. One among their popular systems is the Epsilon E100 which measures skin hydration. It is comparable to both the Corneometer and the MoistureMap MM100 from Courage+Khazaka.

How does the Epsilon measure skin hydration?

The Epsilon uses contact imaging to measure skin hydration. In contact imaging, an image is obtained by direct contact between the object being observed and the sensors. In general, imaging can be done by a variety of methods including ultrasonic imaging, atomic force microscopy, or micro-radiography.

The contact imaging device in the Epsilon is a Fujitsu MFB200 fingerprint sensor from Fujitsu Ltd, Japan. The sensor has 76,800 individual sensors arranged in a rectangular array of 256 columns and 300 rows, measuring 12.8 mm x 15 mm. The contact surface is coated with a 2 µm thick protective layer of SiO2. These sensors respond to changes in capacitance and therefore to the dielectric constant of any electrically insulating material that touches its surface. In skin analysis, the capacitance response provides information about hydration since water has an unusually high dielectric constant unlike any other substance.

Epsilon image processing software

The capabilities of a contact imaging instrument depend on two components: the hardware and the image processing software. In addition to the above-mentioned hardware, the Epsilon is accompanied by a powerful image processing software. It offers several features to extract information from the images captured. Some of the analysis that can be performed with the Epsilon are as follows:

  • Hydration heterogeneity assessment: The most basic type of analysis is the region of interest (RoI) in which user-defined circular areas can be analysed separately, alongside similar analysis of the whole image.
  • Correction for skin-sensor contact & skin surface water: An important image processing technique for hydration measurement is the Ԑ-filter in which thresholds can be fixed for removing recordings with extremely low and high Ԑ. This is necessary since extremely low Ԑ values indicate poor contact between the measuring area of skin and the sensor, and high Ԑ values indicate surface water on the skin.
  • Time-dependant measurements: Another important aspect of skin hydration measurement is contact time. With respect to skin hydration measurement instruments, there is always a trade-off between contact setting and occlusions. The Epsilon software provides powerful flexible means to evaluate the effect of contact time by capturing image bursts. Once optimum contact conditions are established, routine measurements can be performed with single-image recording using functions such as Event Triggering, Delay Time, and Averaging.
  • Comparison studies: The image comparison feature is another commonly asked for functionality. With this, two images can be placed side-by-side and compared. This is particularly useful for before-after comparisons to evaluate the efficacy of products such as moisturisers.

Apart from these flagship features, the Epsilon software also has a few other such as:

  • Snapshot, burst, and video capturing capabilities
  • Live streaming up to 300 frames / minute
  • Real-time meanԐ, histogram, and RoI
  • Image enhancement via multi-frame averaging
  • Skin topology characterisation
 

What is Corneometry?

Corneometry is a technique to measure water content in the stratum corneum—the top-most layer of skin. This method is based on capacitance measurement of a dielectric medium—in this case, the stratum corneum. Any alteration in the water balance of the skin can be observed through changes in the dielectric constant.

Courage+Khazaka Corneometer vs. Biox Systems Epsilon

The Epsilon from Biox Systems is comparable to the Corneometer from Courage + Khazaka. Both the Epsilon and the Corneometer measure skin hydration by means of capacitance measurement. Another similarity is that both the instruments have the same sensing depth of ~5µm which restricts their measuring range to the stratum corneum.

The differentiating factor between the two instruments with identical functionalities is that the Corneometer has one measuring sensor in its probe while the Epsilon has 76,800 sensors. This makes a huge difference since skin is heterogeneous and the contact between skin and the sensor can be a variable which can skew results.

The Epsilon’s proprietary signal-processing technology maps the sensors’ non-linear response into a linear and calibrated response. The Epsilon uses a dielectric permittivity scale rather than an arbitrary capacitance scale like the Corneometer. This offers more accurate measurements since dielectric permittivity is a material property that can be used for calibration, while capacitance is a device property without independent definition.

To read more about a comparative study that was conducted between the Epsilon and the Corneometer, refer to the scientific paper linked below.

Courage+Khazaka MoistureMap MM 100 vs. Biox Systems Epsilon

The Epsilon is also comparable to the MoistureMap MM 100 from Courage + Khazaka. The MoistureMap MM100 is a capacitance imaging device which is also based on the renowned L’Oreal SkinChip® and provides graphical information on the near-surface hydration distribution and textural properties and other tissues.

The main difference between the Epsilon and the MoistureMap is that the former provides a linear and calibrated response. This uniquely enables it to make quantitative capacitance-related measurements such as hydration of skin or hair. In contrast, Courage+Khazaka recommends that the MoistureMap should be used only for visualisation and that the Corneometer should be used alongside for quantitative measurement.

Epsilon - Publications

The Epsilon from Biox Systems has been mentioned in numerous scientific publications. You can check out all the publications in the Biox Publications Gallery

Epsilon Corneometry Instrument price

Agaram Industries is the exclusive distributor of Biox Systems in India. To get a quotation with the corneometry instrument price, you can fill up this form or directly send an email to sales@agaramindia.com.

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