Human cells from plastic surgery patients to be used in cosmetics lab tests

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A British laboratory has been given a grant to invest in a testing method that uses human cells donated by cosmetic surgery patients.

The human cell-based method of testing cosmetic products includes the use of artificial models of human skin and eyes reconstructed from cells donated by patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.

The UK-based testing laboratory – XCellR8 - doesn't use animal testing and has received a £50,000 European grant from Horizon 2020.

New regulations have clamped down on cosmetic brands that make ‘anti-ageing’ claims about their products and this means stricter testing to demonstrate they are backed up with scientific-based evidence.

The lab said it believes it is the only industrial testing laboratory developing new and redeveloping existing testing methods to eliminate the use of animals.

The test method is an acute toxicity testing method aimed at meeting both the safety demands of EU REACH regulations and ethical demands of the EU Cosmetic Regulation.

A spokesperson for the lab says it is confident that using human skin cells offers ‘robust’ test results for human toxicity and these are more accurate and reproducible than any animal test.

The human cells – a byproduct of cosmetic surgery – should go a long way to providing evidence to substantiate with data the claims made by cosmetics companies.

The spokesperson said: ‘The current regulations, while necessary, threaten to stifle innovation because without having ‘in vitro’ tests – i.e. not tested on living things – that meet both REACH and the Cosmetics Regulation, new chemical ingredients can’t be tested or marketed.’

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU research and innovation programme.

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