In Vitro Dermal Toxicity Testing

Irritation and corrosion testing uses 3D human skin models (EpiDerm™ and EpiSkin®). In addition, an in chemico assay, Corrositex®, can be used to assign skin corrosion classifications. In silico models are also used to identify skin corrosion, irritation or sensitization potential.

Skin sensitization is a hypersensitivity reaction resulting from the interaction of a sensitizing agent with host proteins to form an immunogenic complex. Examples of sensitizers include para-phenylenediamine (PPD) in hair dyes and nickel in clothes or jewelry. When these small molecules (haptens) bind to proteins, they become immunogenic and activate the immune system, which causes localized inflammation at the site of sensitizing agent exposure.


Shining a Light on the Science and Strategy of Phototoxicity Assessments

In this podcast, Dr. Doug Learn, Director of Toxicology at Charles River Safety Assessment in Horsham, Pennsylvania, was interviewed. Dr. Learn is considered an expert in the field of phototoxicity. In this podcast, Dr. Learn shares his experiences during the evolution of how phototoxicity became a specialty field of its own, what phototoxicity means for toxicologists in the regulatory and pharmaceutical world, and how this translates to the consumer. Listen Now


While regulatory acceptance of in vitro alternatives in a tiered approach continues to grow, in vitro skin assays are also a valuable tool for screening ahead of in vivo testing.


Does the implementation of a non-animal testing strategy for skin sensitization reduce the need for animal-based test results?

Personal care cosmetics that have been subject to invitro skin assays as part of our testing strategy for skin sensitization.

Just how applicable are the alternative testing methods for the typical range of substances submitted for registration under REACH? Read our recent paper, REACH alternative testing strategy for skin sensitization in practice: Fact or fiction?


As part of our integrated toxicology testing strategy, there may be cases where the in vivo test should be performed rather than the in vitro test. For example, the in vivo test should be used when a classification cannot be assigned or where a regulatory authority specifically requires in vivo data. In European labs, in vitro skin assays and data collection must be performed prior to evaluating the need for or performing in vivo testing.

Scientific Publications

In Vitro Skin Assays

  • SKIN SENSITIZATION ASSAYS
    • DPRA (direct peptide reactivity assay)
    • KeratinoSens and LuSens
    • MUSST
    • In silico (QSAR)
    • LLNA (local lymph node assay)
    • GPMT (guinea pig maximization test)
    • Buehler assay (contact sensitization)
    • DTH (delayed-type hypersensitization)
    • GARDskin® genome test
  • SKIN IRRITATION ASSAYS
    • SkinEthic EpiSkin® skin irritation (OECD 439)
    • Dermal acute nonrodent
    • Acute dermal rodent
  • SKIN CORROSION ASSAYS
    • SkinEthic EpiSkin® skin corrosion (OECD 431)
    • Corrositex® skin corrosion (OECD 435)
    • Acute dermal rodent

Which in vitro skin assays are right for you?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for In Vitro Skin Assays