The new assay is an in vitro method to test compounds for their potential to cause potentially serious liver problems related to cholestiatic drug induced liver injury (DILI).
The testing kits can also be used to test for compounds from pharmaceutical drugs as well as food and beverages to determine whether or not they can cause a potentially toxic build up in the liver that leads to damage.
A more effective DILI testing method
It is known that some compounds found in a wide variety of consumer products cause DILI by disrupting the liver’s ability to control bile acid, resulting in an alkaline activity and ultimately toxicity.
Called C-DIU, the assay is said to perform better than comparable in vivo models, which generally rely on animal testing.
C-DIU should sit better with cosmetic and personal care companies because it relies on human liver cells for the lab testing process, and combines multiple pathways in one assay.
The company also believes that the use of human liver cells should prove to be a more effective testing method because the livers of rats, commonly used in this type of testing, have a different mix of bile acid compared to humans.
Dr. Christopher Black, CEO of QTS said in an interview with digital tech journal WRALTech Wire that over 50 clinically-described compounds had been tested using the system with “excellent’ clinical predictions.
Liver-on-chip testing solution
Tighter global regulations governing the use of safety testing on animals have led scientists to search out alternative methods that do not implicate animal testing in any form.
In response to this, scientists from Israel and Germany announced a joint research project that resulted in a ‘liver-on-chip’ device that is specifically developed to determine the effects of cosmetic formulations on the organ.
The development came about because the scientists said that human cells were only effective for a few days outside of the body, making testing much more challenging.