In Vitro & Alternative
Toxicology Testing Services

MB Research Labs - Your Trusted Toxicologist.

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Your In Vitro Toxicology Specialists

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.

We offer an extensive suite of in vitro and alternative toxicology assays to assess product safety that can quantify the toxic potential and other effects of pharmaceutical products on different primary cells and tissues. These in vitro and alternative assays are utilized to more rapidly identify potential safety and developmental problems which are often discovered in more costly animal safety and toxicology evaluations.

In Vitro Toxicology Testing capabilities include the following:

  • In vitro cytotoxicity in established primary cell types
  • Cell viability
  • Cell proliferation
  • Membrane integrity
  • Apoptosis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Immunotoxicity
  • In Vitro Permeability
  • In Vitro Metabolism
  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

Over 25 Years of In Vitro Toxicology Testing Experience.

Ocular Irritation Assays

Three Dimensional 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

Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Assay (BCOP)

  • Uses excised bovine corneas that are normally discarded as waste in food production
  • Measures two endpoints; 1) changes in opacity, reflecting protein denaturation and corneal injury, and 2) fluorescent dye 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)

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

  • Uses fertilized chicken eggs

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

Porcine Cornea Reversibility Assay (PorCORA)

  • Uses excised porcine corneas that are normally discarded as waste in food production
  • 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

Dermal Irritation Assays

Three Dimensional 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)

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

Dermal Senitization Assays

In Vitro Sensitization Assay (IVSA) using Three Dimensional Human Skin Equivalent Systems

To determine the possible sensitizing potential of a test article in vitro as an alternative assay for animal based test systems.

  • Uses 3D Human Tissue Constructs
  • IL-18 secretion is measured after topical exposure
  • A Stimulation Index (SI) is calculated relative to the solvent vehicle for each test material

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™