Cultured Corneal Epithelium-Draize Test Replacement
Department of Health and Human Services
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200 Homer Avenue, Ashland, MA, 01721
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractOne of the most controversial toxicology tests currently performed is the Draize rabbit eye irritancy test. In addition to the moral outcry against the procedure, the Draize test has been criticized due to the high degree of inter- and intra-laboratory variability, its lack of objectivity, and the extra sensitivity of the rabbit eye in comparison to the human eye. Nonetheless, the Draize test has become the standard ocular toxicological testing method since it was developed nearly 50 years ago. The purpose is to develop an alternative to the Draize test which is a reliable predictor of ocular toxicity. The alternative is a cell culture based corneal analog whose cellular and tissue-like behavior can be quantified in a well defined, reproducible manner as a function of exposure to a potential toxicant or irritant. Such a system would remove the subjectivity of the Draize method, increase reproducibility, and avoid the moral problems of inhumane treatment of animals.
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