Skin model proves a successful testing method
Researchers have found that a model replicating the traits of human skin could provide a replacement for animals in future clinical research.
A study taking place at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) in Belgium, found that a skin sensitisation assay can successfully identify chemicals causing human allergic responses.
The research team used a three-dimensional, human-derived skin model, which replicates key traits of normal human skin.
This could replace the use of guinea pigs or mice, which are injected with or have substances applied to their skin to determine allergic reactions.
Researchers found that the model accurately predicated each chemical's ability to cause an allergic response for all of the compounds tested.
These findings support those reported by Michigan-based research organisation, CeeTox, who created the skin sensitisation assay.
Further validation studies will be carried out, and the results are to be submitted to the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, which officially approves the methods of chemical testing required by law.
The announcement follows a recent ban in Europe on the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.