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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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The Research Programme of SCAAT

Odile de Silva and David Basketter

The European Federation of the Cosmetics Industry (COLIPA’s) Steering Committee on Alternatives to Animal Testing (SCAAT) is currently focusing its research activity on two areas: skin tolerance and eye irritation. SCAAT has set up two three-year projects on skin sensitisation, one three-year project on skin irritation and one three-year project on eye irritation. The sensitisation projects aim at the standardisation and optimisation of a method involving human dendritic cells and the identification of upregulated genes following exposure of these cells to chemicals. The skin irritation project aims to identify new markers of irritation with the help of genomic and proteomic technologies. These three projects will be carried out by industry. The scope of the eye project is to identify new in vitro endpoints, predictive of the in vivo response to chemical injury. It involves collaboration with ophthalmologists from the Universities of Aachen and Bristol. The team in Aachen will try to identify whether the kinetics and patterns of changes in physiological function and signals of injury released from the cornea in vitro can predict a chemical’s potential to damage the eye, with a focus on recovery. All these projects aim at developing and optimising alternative methods for further prevalidation.