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For medical device testing, an in vitro approach for assessing skin sensitization potential

The publication of a study by Coleman and colleagues (2015) that evaluates the SenCeeToxTM as a possible in vitro alternative for assessing skin sensitization in medical devices was recently named “Best Published Paper” by the Society of Toxicology Medical Device Specialty Section. Skin sensitization tests are among the tests recommended by regulatory agencies, such as […]
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High-throughput platform for predicting kidney toxicity is part of new international collaboration between Singapore researchers and US EPA to advance non-animal approaches to chemical safety testing

Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the Bioinformatics Institute at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore have reported significant breakthroughs in the development of an animal-free approach for predicting the toxicity of drugs and other substances to the human kidney (i.e., nephrotoxicity). The proximal tubule cells (PTCs) of […]
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A Scalable, Highly Reproducible Method for Creating 3-D Neural Constructs

In a recent paper in PNAS, Michael P. Schwarz and co-authors describe a method for creating structurally complex, 3D neural constructs for neurotoxicity testing, by co-culturing human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells, endothelial cells, mesenchymal cells, and microglia/macrophage precursors. The resulting neural constructs more closely replicate human brain tissue than monocultures or animal-derived cells, […]
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Needs and Strategies for Nanomaterial Safety Assessments

Three recent papers address some of the challenges regulatory agencies and manufacturers face when it comes to nanomaterials and nanomaterial-containing products: one outlines the specific kinds of information most needed for risk assessment and management, and two describe approaches that could be standardized to make those assessments. In Biological responses to engineered nanomaterials: Needs for […]
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Humpback whale cell lines established and used to assess toxicity of a compound known to accumulate in this species

As a follow-up to our update of the Ecotoxicity Regulatory Overview section last month, we decided to highlight the relevant, recent publication on the isolation and initial characterization of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines by Burkard, et al. (2015). Cells were isolated from humpback whale skin samples obtained from healthy, free-swimming whales using […]
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Acute toxicity prediction across multiple species

Bhhatarai, et al. (2015), in an upcoming article in the journal Toxicological Sciences, describe their study as a milestone for non-animal approaches for acute toxicity testing as it lays “the framework for broader approaches to read-across that includes interspecies and mechanistic HTS [high-throughput screening] data and also highlights the importance of addressing systemic bioavailability.” The […]
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Microphysiological systems for in vitro ADME and systemic repeated dose toxicity testing

The proliferation of microfluidic systems in the scientific literature makes it difficult to keep up with this emerging technology. However, only a portion of these are microphysiological or “human-on-a-chip” systems being developed for toxicity testing applications. An interesting one that caught our eye is the article, “Chip-based human liver–intestine and liver–skin co-cultures – A first […]
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Predicting drug-induced liver injury with micro-patterned co-cultured IPSC-derived human hepatocytes

Researchers from Colorado State University used an enhanced process for creating human hepatocyte-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-HH) to produce hepatocytes with a more consistent phenotype and longer life span than previous methods have yielded. In a new paper in Toxicological Sciences, the team describes the ability of these new cells to […]
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Stem cells form human mini-lung organoids

Organoids are in vitro organ models generated by the self-assembly of cells (likely to be stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells) into small tissues that replicate some of the 3-dimensional (3-D) cellular and structural complexity of the in vivo tissue/organ. The growing interest in generating organoids as research and testing models was reviewed in […]
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Improved in vitro and in vivo concordance in gene expression using co-culture models

Researchers from West Virginia University and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH), who elucidated toxicity pathways involved in mouse pulmonary exposures to multi-walled carbon nanotubes in previous publications, have now begun to investigate the use of in vitro cellular models for assessing nanoparticle toxicity. In a recent publication in the journal Toxicology, […]
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“Systematic review and evidence integration for literature-based environmental health science assessments”

The use of systematic review is gaining widespread regulatory use as a means of integrating, evaluating, and translating existing evidence on a variety of human health issues, and for potentially reducing the need for additional studies. The authors of a recent publication in Environmental Health Perspectives note that there is also “increasing interest in applying […]
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“Regulatory acceptance and use of the Extended One Generation Reproductive Toxicity Study within Europe”

In this paper published recently in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Marie-Jeanne W.A. Schiffelers and co-authors reconstruct and analyze the process of regulatory acceptance and use of the Extended One Generation Reproductive Toxicity Study as a replacement for the two generation study. (Disclosure: AltTox Management Team member Bas J. Blaauboer is one of the co-authors on […]
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Matrix properties can alter cellular biological function through physical changes in the cells: Matrix influence on human cell motility

Article citation: Petrie, R.J., Koo, H., & Yamada, K.M. (August 29, 2014). Generation of compartmentalized pressure by a nuclear piston governs cell motility in a 3D matrix. Science 345 (6200), pp. 1062-1065. Petrie, et al. (2012) had previously observed different mechanisms of cell movement in primary human fibroblasts, depending upon the matrix on which the […]
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