Cell Culture Beats Animal Tests for Irritancy Accuracy
A test method derived from cultured human skin cells is more accurate than animal tests at identifying skin irritants, according to a new report from MatTek, Inc., a Massachusetts company that develops alternatives to animal tests. While tests in rabbits misclassified 10 out of the 25 test chemicals, the company’s EpiDerm™ method detected all irritating chemicals correctly.
Another study found that EpiDerm™ and another MatTek cell model, EpiAirway™, contain the enzymes necessary to metabolize toxic chemicals in the same way that these tissues would in an intact human. EpiAirway™ is a model constructed from cells that line the human airway passages, and can be used to test chemicals for potential toxicity to the respiratory system.