In vitro efficacy evaluation: complementarity and uniqueness in comparison with in vivo tests

14:00 - 00:00
November 28, 2017

In vitro efficacy tests are becoming increasingly important, in compliance with the specifications of current regulations, which require cosmetic manufacturer to verify and support through specific tests the efficacy of products in addition to their safety. In vitro tests can quantify and analyze parameters that cannot be determined in vivo, such as the increase or inhibition of cellular proliferation, the synthesis of specific proteins in the cell matrix or the secretion of inflammatory cytokines or other cellular biomarkers.

The development of in vitro 3D reconstructed epidermis and epithelia and the huge amount of cell lines now available allow to explore the activity of ingredients and products on simplified models of the target tissue, reliably predicting in vivo efficacy.

During the starting research and development phases, in vitro tests also become fundamental in preliminary screenings of potentially active molecules and mixes, before testing them in vivo on healthy volunteers, because of both ethical concerns and safety requirements.

According to the current regulation, in order to be usable as proof to support the efficacy of a cosmetic, in vitro test need to be predictive for a specific activity or representative of an in vivo effect. Nonetheless, if necessary, studies on human volunteers should be performed in order to confirm and validate the results.


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