In Vitro Methods (IVM) facilities
One of the tasks of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) is to ensure that in vitro test methods are indeed meeting that objective, be it as stand-alone methods that directly replace an animal test or as part of an intelligent testing strategy. In the latter case, they contribute information that can be essential to understand if, and to which degree, a chemical could pose a risk.
The IHCP hosts two laboratories providing expertise in this field: their activities are focussed on in-house validation & training, and optimisation of in-vitro methods.
The In Vitro methods (IVM) Validation Test Facility is unique in its position as a European Commission in vitro laboratory resource being able to carry out studies under this internationally agreed top quality standard.
The test facility Study Directors and Study Personnel continuously assess the reliability and relevance of in vitro test methods and has over “50-person” years of experience in in vitro method development, optimization, prevalidation and validation, related to different cell and tissue-based test systems including human-cell based systems, and to many endpoint detection methods such as flow cytometry (FCM), high performance liquid chromotography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS).
Their skills and experience enable the team to assess the reliability and transferability of standard operating procedures provided by test developers, as initial step of or before formal validation starts as well as carrying out the experiments necessary to formally verify the predictive capacity and applicability domain of a method that complete any ECVAM validation.
Work relates to high priority areas such as in vitro test method validation for Skin sensitisation, Toxicokinetics and Metabolism, Reproductive toxicity (including endocrine disruption) and acute and chronic toxicity.
The team also provides coding and distribution services for supplying chemicals to ECVAM coordinated Validation projects and prepares e-learning modules that facilitate the transfer of validated in vitro test methods to naïve laboratories.
Assays currently running are:
- CYP induction
See also the In Vitro Methods facilities photo gallery.
How are in vitro methods validated?
The validation process verifies if a test that is meant to replace an existing (animal) test is as good as that "reference" test.