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ScitoVation awarded VITROCELL In Vitro Inhalation Exposure System

Jun 22, 2017


Cutting-Edge System Will Spare Animals from Painful Inhalation Tests


London — The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. has awarded inhalation exposure machines to laboratories working on human-relevant methods to replace animal use for inhalation toxicity testing. The VITROCELL® Systems equipment is valued at more than $200,000.


Traditional inhalation tests involve forcing animals into narrow tubes to inhale various substances. The VITROCELL® exposure system can be used to analyze toxicity after exposure to pesticides, nanomaterials, (e-)cigarette smoke, and other airborne materials on human lung cells.


The cells are exposed on one side to the test material in the air, and on the other side, the cells receive nutrients from a blood-like liquid—mimicking the physiology of the human lung. This system can better predict human health effects than tests on animals do.


Experts in cell-based and computational methods at North Carolina-based ScitoVation will use the donated equipment to test effects of cancer-causing compounds on human lung tissues.

"To move toward replacement of animal tests in chemical risk assessment, the field must continue to develop fit-for-purpose in vitro assays that examine cellular models that accurately reflect the relevant biology of the in vivo system where effects occur. Our partnership with the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. allows ScitoVation to continue that mission and demonstrate in vitro relevance on human lung cells for a variety of different sponsors," said John Cline, President, ScitoVation.


Scientists at VITO NV, a research organization based in Belgium, will use the awarded equipment to test the effects of nanomaterials on human lung tissue. "The 3Rs of inhalation testing (Robust cell models, Relevant doses, and Realistic air-liquid interface exposure) meets the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) of animal welfare principles," says Dr. Sandra Verstraelen, VITO NV.  


"The PETA International Science Consortium is happy to put essential equipment into the hands of leading researchers," says Dr. Amy Clippinger, associate director of the Consortium. "This award will improve the way in which hazardous materials are tested, and it spares animals from being used in irrelevant tests."


The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. works to accelerate the development, validation, and global implementation of animal-free science. It was established in 2012 to coordinate the scientific and regulatory expertise of its members—PETA U.K., PETA U.S., PETA France, PETA Germany, PETA India, PETA Netherlands, PETA Asia, and PETA Australia. The Science Consortium and its members have donated more than $3 million to help companies reduce and replace animal use.


ScitoVation develops innovative in vitro cell-based assays and computational approaches to assess potential health effects of drugs and chemicals. Traditional approaches rely on expensive, time-consuming testing in animals, whereas ScitoVation’s solutions help customers achieve: (1) faster, more cost-effective compound testing; (2) accelerated development of new products; and (3) better predictive tools for evaluating the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals, food, agricultural and chemicals and consumer products.


VITO NV (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) is an independent research organization that provides technological solutions to industry and public authorities. It also offers scientifically based advice and support in the research domains of energy, materials, chemistry, land use and health in order to stimulate sustainable development. The research focus of the Health Department is in the field of sustainable health and disease prevention, with a focus on safe, effective and/or personalized technological innovations. Nanomaterial safety assessment is an integral part of VITO-Health’s technology development and contract research program. Risk assessment along the life cycle of nanoproducts as part of a safe-by-design approach and integrated testing strategies are key in these activities.


VITROCELL® SYSTEMS have extensive expertise in designing, producing, and installing customized exposure systems to fit the specific research needs. Vitrocell offers a variety of modules that can be used to test substances in cell-based systems.


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