Skin Irritation Tests

In Vitro Toxicity Testing Alternatives

Skin Irritation Testing

Skin irritation tests are performed using in vitro 3D human skin tissue models. in vitro 3D human skin tissue models closely mimic the human epidermis that were developed to create an in vitro (non-animal) alternative to the animal-based Draize Skin Irritation Test utilized by the cosmetics, personal care, household products, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.

MB Research offers skin irritation test models that have been endorsed by the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) as validated in vitro replacement for the Draize Skin Irritation Test - OECD Test guidelines 439.

In Vitro Toxicology Testing Services


  • Cosmetics, Chemicals & Household Products.
  • Extensive Protocols Available
  • Discount Pricing

Phototoxicity Testing

  • In Vitro 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test
  • Monolayer & 3D Tissue Models Available

In Vitro Toxicology

  • In Vitro Toxicity Alternatives to Animal Testing.
  • Cost Saving Screening Testing
  • Pharmaceutical Efficacy Testing

NEW - In Vitro Sensitization ITS

When assessing skin irritation, dermal sensitization may also be a concern. MB Research has developed a non-animal Integrated Testing Strategy (ITS) for chemical-induced contact hypersensitivity (skin sensitization). This ITS provides a completely non-animal alternative to traditional testing methods. Together, our three assays address three key events on the skin sensitization adverse outcome pathway (AOP).

Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP)

Assays for In Vitro Sensitization

Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay (DPRA)

  • Accepted in vitro assay for dermal sensitization screening by ECVAM
  • Measures molecular reaction of specific peptides to possible sensitizers

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

In Vitro Dermal/Skin Irritation Assays

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)

In Vitro 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.

  • OECD 431 - In vitro skin corrosion: reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) test method
  • 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™

In Vitro Phototoxicity Assays

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MB Research Labs - Cosmetics, Chemicals, Consumer Products, Pharmaceuticals

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Solving the In Vitro Toxicology Puzzle

MB Research Labs works closely with other leaders in the field of in vitro toxicology and is dedicated to advancing techniques that reduce the use of live animals in Toxicological Research. Below are several related sources that are helpful in developing and validating novel in vitro toxicology testing methods.