In Vitro Toxicology - MB Research Labs

Award Winning Research. Just Good Science.

Industries Served:

MB conducts Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant toxicology assays as well as low-cost screening studies for clients in the cosmetic, consumer product, chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

About MB Research

MB Research has served the testing needs of both government and industry since 1972.

Complete support services including consultation, protocol development, quality assurance, analytical chemistry and archive facilities are integral components of studies performed at MB.

Our technical and support procedures are in full compliance with OECD, FDA, and EPA.

For more information about our capabilities, please click here.

In Vitro and Alternative Test Methods

NEW - Assays for In Vitro Sensitization

Genomic Allergen Rapid Detection System

  • in vitro test method for dermal sensitization based on gene expression analysis of stimulated models of Dendritic cells
  • GARDskin, GARDpotency, & GARDair
  • Developed by SenzaGen

Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay (DPRA)

  • Accepted in vitro assay for dermal sensitization screening by ECVAM
  • Measures molecular reaction of specific peptides to possible sensitizers
  • OECD 442C In-Chemico Skin Sensitization

In Vitro Sensitization Screening Assay (IVSA)

  • Using the 3D Reconstructed Human Epidermis protocol currently under review by ECVAM
  • Measures IL18 production in epidermal keratinocytes
  • For more information, see IVSA.

Human Cell Line Activation Test (h-CLAT)

  • Examines dendritic cell activation by quantifying changes in the expression of cell surface markers (CD86 and CD54) in the human leukemia cell line THP-1
  • OECD 442E - In Vitro Sensitization Test

Ocular Irritation Assays

More Info on Ocular Irritation Assay, Click Here.

3D Human Ocular Tissue Equivalent Systems

MatTek EpiOcular™, SkinEthic corneocyte models

  • These models mimic characteristics of the epithelium of the eye
  • Unique properties of 3D models allow test articles to be applied topically, allowing testing of solids, organics, and insoluble materials

HET-CAM - Hen's Egg Test - Chorioallantoic Membrane (HET-CAM)

  • Uses fertilized chicken eggs

Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Assay (BCOP)

  • Uses excised bovine corneas normally discarded
  • Measures two endpoints; 1) changes in opacity, reflecting protein denaturation and corneal injury, and 2) fluorescein permeability reflecting damage to corneal epithelium
  • Optional histological endpoint is available (H & E staining)
  • Measurement of pro-inflammatory mediators in liberated corneal cells (by flow cytometry or ELISA)

Porcine Cornea Reversibility Assay (PorCORA)

  • Uses excised porcine cornea normally discarded
  • Corneas maintained in culture for up to 21 Days
  • Measures "Days to Recover" after exposure to possible Irritants
  • Allows discrimination between Severe Irritant and Ocular Corrosive

Chorioallantoic Membrane Vascular Assay (CAMVA)

  • Uses fertilized chicken eggs on embryonic day 10 or 14 of development
  • Measures hemodynamic effects, injury, and anti-angiogenic effects to the membrane microvasculature
  • Especially useful for alcohol-containing formulations

Replacement Ocular Battery (ROBatt)

  • Uses tiered testing strategy of alternative ocular irritation assays (CAMVA, BCOP, PorCORA, PorFocal) to determine regulatory classification of a test material without the use of live animals.
  • Currently Under Development

Keratinocyte/Fibroblast Viability Assay (Neutral Red or MTT)

MB Research uses normal human primary epidermal keratinocytes or fibroblasts (or mouse keratinocytes and fibroblasts)
  • Cells are representative of the eye and skin epithelium
  • Human cells are derived from neonatal, adolescent, or aged donors
  • Cytokine expression or release (LDH, PGE-2, interleukins) can be measured
  • Low serum or serum free protocol options are available

Keratinocyte Proliferation (turnover) Assay

  • Using primary human cell or mouse cell lines in serum-free or low serum media
  • Rate of proliferation or apoptosis is measured by vital dye uptake (MTT or neutral red) or by BrdU incorporation and flow cytometry

NEW - OptiSafe™ In Vitro Ocular Irritation Test

  • OptiSafe™ In Vitro Eye Irritation Test
  • An in vitro test method in which a test substance is applied to a semi-permeable membrane. Damage to macromolecules in the membrane is measured to assess the test substance‚Äôs potential to cause eye irritation.
  • Can be used to determine the irritation potential of cosmetics, creams, and a wide variety of consumer products. Results are presented as GHS, EPA classifications, an ocular irritation score and class.
OptiSafe™ is a trademark and is used with the permission of Lebrun Labs.

Dermal Irritation Assays

3D Human Skin Equivalent Systems

The 3D models available at MB Research (MatTek EpiDerm™, SkinEthic systems and CellSystems EpiCS®) allow the application of the test material directly to the "skin" surface and permit the assessment of dermal toxicity via a wide variety of parameters.

  • Cytotoxicity via MTT, neutral red viability assay, or flow cytometry
  • Histological examination (H & E) of the epidermal layers, including the stratum corneum
  • Measurement of inflammatory mediator and lytokine release (PGE-2, nitric oxide, TNFa, IL1a, and other interleukins)
  • Dissolution of the tissue equivalent into a single cell suspension, with subsequent flow cytometric analysis allows evaluation of gene expression and peroxide production (antioxidant status of cells)

Dermal Corrosivity Assays


  • An accepted alternative to the Draize rabbit corrosivity test that recently has been validated by ICCVAM for use for DOT, FHSA, CPSC, EPA and FDA testing
  • Allows Packing Group assignment of test materials
  • Can be used to compare the relative corrosivity of materials within Packing Groups for product development purposes. See for more information.

MatTek EpiDerm™ Corrosivity Test

  • Validated by ECVAM and ICCVAM as an in vitro alternative corrosivity test based on human skin cells
  • Allows testing of material not compatible with Corrositex™

Related Helpful In Vitro Toxicology Resources

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