1998 Med Biol Eng Comput 1998 Nov ;36(6):825-832
Laboratoire des Substituts Cutanes (CNRS UPR 412), Hopital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France. odile.damour@chu-lyon.fr

Applications of reconstructed skin models in pharmaco-toxicological trials

The development of new cosmetic formulations requires precise assessment of their safety and efficacy. Today, legislation demands quality control combined with severe safety measures, as well as a limited use of animals for such testing (European Community directive 93/35/EEC). Consequently, safety assessment protocols are oriented towards in vivo tests on human volunteers and in vitro alternative methods to animal use, especially tissue engineered skin substitutes. In this paper, dermal and skin equivalents developed in the laboratory are described. The applications of reconstructed epidermis and skin substitutes for pharmaco-toxicological trials are also discussed. These tissue models have been shown to be very useful tools to assess cutaneous irritation, phototoxicity, photoprotection and to perform efficacy tests of cosmetic molecules and finished products. In conclusion, the authors are confident that these in vitro models can contribute to reduce animal use for routine toxicity testing