Tuesday, 07 March 2023 12:34

New non-animal in vitro method replaces still missing aspects in eye irritation Featured

Animal-free methods can measure whether a chemical irreversibly damages the eye or does not damage it. However, until now it was not possible to reliably distinguish between irreversible and reversible damage to the eye. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute ISC are taking steps to remedy this situation.

Despite existing and recognized in vitro tests, the Draize test is still performed on rabbits. Even in the annex to the current amendment of the REACH regulation, the in vivo rabbit test is listed again under test guideline number 405.

Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies TLZ at the Fraunhofer ISC in Würzburg, together with partners from industry and research, have developed a new, impedance-based in vitro test system that enables this differentiation.

For this purpose, the researcher team has grown human corneas in the laboratory. The cells form one or more closed layers, with a measurable resistance. This barrier property and its impairment by a test substance can be determined by electrical resistance (impedance). If the tissue regenerates within seven days, the chemical is clearly reversibly damaging.

A multi-laboratory study using the new test is currently underway.

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