Environmental Health News

New UW Predictive Toxicology Center to Use Novel Method to Screen Chemicals

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3D cell culture

Scientists will use a microfluidic device in three-dimensional cell cultures to test chemicals for their potential risk to humans and to help accelerate the evaluation of large numbers of chemicals.

Photo:

Edward Kelly

Tens of thousands of chemicals are currently in use, with more introduced every year. Scientists, however, have discerned the toxicity to human health for only a fraction of these, because the traditional method of testing is time- and cost-prohibitive. Thus, the need for high-capacity in vitro systems to screen chemicals for their potential health impacts is significant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide $6 million in seed funding for a Predictive Toxicology Center at the University of Washington, enabling researchers to develop more accurate in vitro models – organ-mimicking cell cultures – to test chemicals for their potential risk to humans and to help accelerate the evaluation of large numbers of chemicals.

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Return to Spring 2015 issue