Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

Cefic-LRI project maximizes the power of in vitro assays

Cefic-LRI is investing in research on in vitro toxicity tests to respond to the intensification of REACH testing requirements and the promotion of alternative approaches to animal testing.

In vitro toxicity tests can play a pivotal role in investigating consequences of what exposure to chemicals in a real-life setting (in vivo) would look like. When a study is performed in vitro, it happens outside of a living organism: cells or tissues are cultured and exposed to chemicals in test tubes, flasks, Petri dishes, or multiwell plates.

In vitro tests still have important limitations. For instance, the determination of exposure levels in in vitro assays using mutliwell plates is made complex by  small testing volumes Within these small volumes of culture medium, molecules can bind to the chemical of interest, making actual exposure of the cells hard to evaluate.

To overcome this challenge, the Cefic Long-Range Research Initiative granted € 500 000 to a research consortium led by Beate Escher from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany. By dissecting the fate of chemicals in the bioassay systems, the research team provides analytical tools to improve exposure assessment in in vitro screening assays, maximizing the extrapolation power of in vitro assays to in vivo exposure. This work is in 8 peer-reviewed publications. Click here to learn more about the project and its conclusions.

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