Companies that manufacture cosmetics and personal care products need a way to test products they are developing for safety, but there are few alternatives that replace animal skin. Compounds in cosmetics or personal products can potentially cause allergic responses on the skin, known as skin sensitization. This response takes place in the outer layer of the skin, the keratinocytes, and involve inflammatory response in cells and upregulation of antioxidant/electrophile response element (ARE)-dependent pathways that respond to the skin cell inflammation.
By developing luciferase reporter cell lines that detect when ARE-dependent pathways are triggered by cosmetics or personal care products, we have created an alternative to animal skin testing. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published Test Guidelines for In Vitro Skin Sensitization (OECD TG 442D) for two validated cell lines called KeratinoSens™ and LuSens that have been made available globally through acCELLerate (http://www.accellerate.me). These cell lines, when used with the Steady-Glo® or One-Glo™ Luciferase Assay System luminescent detection assays, are a way to measure skin sensitization.
Supplying Tools for Environmental and Food Testing Facilities
The increasing demands on water and food testing facilities mean there is a need for rapid, reliable solutions to ensure products are safe and authenticate food ingredient claims. Biotechnology offers tools for these testing labs to detect bacterial or other contaminants in food, water or plants. From GMO testing and pathogen detection in food to water quality and contamination analysis, assays need to satisfy the requirements of food and water testing laboratories, including sensitive detection of unwanted microbes and undeclared ingredients.
To screen plants for GMOs or analyze food for pathogen contamination or authenticating ingredients, extracting DNA from these samples is a necessary step. The resulting DNA needs to pure enough to work in PCR-based analysis, the method most food testing labs use for detection. In Europe, our DNA purification reagents has become a reference standard in authenticity determination of meat products, and European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in feeding stuffs (EURL) has developed a Standard Operating Procedure for DNA extraction based on our purification chemistry. In addition, our Maxwell® RSC PureFood GMO and Authentication Kit was recently selected by the European Reference Laboratory on GMO Food and Feed Testing for developing new SOPs for food DNA extraction, influencing food companies to use our products as part of their routine quality control testing.
Water treatment facilities and desalination plants test the water quality and biofilm formation to reduce energy consumption and improve plant operational efficiency. By partnering with these facilities, we have been able to improve our luminescent bacterial detection assay for specific use with water sampling to help with industrial processes like biocide dosage and timing for water cooling systems. The use of Water-Glo™ microbial analysis by measuring the amount of ATP in a sample by bioluminescence applies to drinking water, desalination and other areas and offers a tool by which to improve plant efficiency and is part of ongoing research.