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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Apr 21, 2008

Cell Culture Beats Animal Tests for Irritancy Accuracy

posted 4/21/08

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.


  1. The reports were presented at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting in Seattle, held March 16-20, 2008 (

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