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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M506850/1
Title: Capillary Bed Bioreactor: Improved Estimation Of Dermal Bioavailability
Principal Investigator: Ellis, Professor MJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 October 2014 Ends: 30 June 2016 Value (£): 105,790
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioreactors Tissue engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Historically, animal testing has been used to support risk assessment for a variety of toxicological endpoints related to

cosmetic ingredients, including the local lymph node assay (LLNA) to assess the sensitization potential and potency of a

chemical. However, in recent years, there has been a continuous drive to reduce the level of animal testing undertaken to

support risk assessments for new cosmetic products, and a move towards a mechanistic understanding of human

exposure. Consequently, the development of mechanistic/biologically relevant in vitro, in chemico or in silico models for

predicting the sensitising potential and/or potency of new chemicals is necessary to generate data leading to increased

confidence in predictions of in vivo scenarios. The chemical and biological events driving the induction of human skin

sensitisation are now well understood and companies such as Unilever use this information in non-animal models to test

the safety of new compounds. Discs of ex vivo skin (from cosmetic surgery procedures) are mounted in diffusion cells and

the permeation of a test item through the skin is monitored over time. While this has proved to be an adequate model, it

does not truly represent living skin. At present, little is known regarding chemical clearance via dermal capillaries, and this

is a gap in our mechanistic understanding of the bioavailability of a topically applied chemical in the elicitation of skin

sensitisation. The proposed capillary bed bioreactor (CBB) better replicates the in vivo environment of the skin and its

blood supply by providing a bed of pseudovascularisation in the form of hollow fibre membranes. Therefore it should more

accurately predict permeation of chemicals through the skin, and provide data that more closely resembles that of the in

vivo scenario. The new bioreactor will be more physiologically accurate than the current model and can therefore

potentially refine inputs to our mechanistic models for skin sensitisation, to give us more accurate predictions of adverse

outcomes. This in turn will give greater confidence in our ability to risk assess new ingredients in the future without the

requirement for animal testing.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk