Friday, 15 March 2019 15:19

EAWAG: Measuring Fragrance Effects in Vitro Featured

A team of Swiss scientists from EAWAG in Dübendorf has developed a device that can be used to test the harmfulness of fragrances to the environment using intestinal cells. Thus, animal experiments in ecotoxicological experiments can be reduced. The device has also potential for drug development.

Fragrances found in cosmetics, detergents and cleaning agents have to be tested for their harmful effects on the environment, including accumulation in fish. This is
not an easy task, because such substances can evaporate easily. For this reason, the scientists Dr. Kristin Schirmer and her doctoral student Hannah Schug in collatoration
with industrial partners have developed a small cube-shaped device - called TransFEr chamber. On the inside of the chamber, the molecules do not adhere and sink down in
order to be absorbed by intestinal cells of a rainbow sink down. This has the size of a magic cube.

The researchers* presented their development in the Journal Analytical Methods:
Schug, H., Begnaud, F., Debonneville, C., Berthaud, F., Gimenod, S. & Schirmer, K. (2018). TransFEr: a new device to measure the transfer of volatile and hydrophobic organic chemicals across an in vitro intestinal fish cell barrier. Analytical Methods, DOI: 10.1039/c8ay01253a