Towards a method for cytotoxicity screening of nanomaterials
The results of an inter-laboratory comparison study on a method for assessing the cytotoxicity of nanomaterials have been published. This is an important step towards a harmonised method for toxicity screening of nanomaterials.
The method, the Colony Forming Efficiency (CFE) assay, is an in vitro (animal free) method, used for the cytotoxicity testing of chemicals. JRC scientists adapted and optimised the CFE assay for the testing of nanomaterials. The performance of the method was tested by twelve laboratories from France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Switzerland in the frame of OECD Working Party of Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN). Thanks to this inter-laboratory comparison study coordinated by the JRC, it could be shown that the assay protocol is well defined and is easily and reliably transferable to other laboratories. Furthermore, the CFE assay has several advantages over commonly used in vitro cytotoxicity assays, as it avoids test interferences and is particularly sensitive. Therefore, the CFE assay can be recommended as a first choice method within a battery of in vitro methods for the early toxicity screening of nanomaterials.
Manufactured nanomaterials are increasingly used in consumer products. Thus, they have to be tested regarding hazards to humans and the environment. However, standard test methods for the testing and assessment of traditional chemicals need to be adapted to the specificities of nanomaterials. Therefore, scientists from the JRC are working on the development, optimisation and harmonisation of in vitrotest (animal free) methods suitable for screening and hazard assessment of nanomaterials. International harmonisation of these test methodologies is ensured, among others, through JRC’s participation in the OECD Working Party of Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN)