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Zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio), which are already widely utilized in drug development studies, can now be applied in a new fast-track test to screen plastics and polymers in medical devices for toxicity. Microtest Laboratories (Agawam, MA) has introduced the technology for plastics, noting that the Zebrafish embryos are highly susceptible to toxins.

PlasticsToday Staff

July 13, 2011

1 Min Read
Zebrafish provide fast-track test screen for medical-use plastics

Zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio), which are already widely utilized in drug development studies, can now be applied in a new fast-track test to screen plastics and polymers in medical devices for toxicity. Microtest Laboratories (Agawam, MA) has introduced the technology for plastics, noting that the Zebrafish embryos are highly susceptible to toxins.

Steven Richter, president and scientific director of Microtest Laboratories, said that with his company's in-vitro test, manufacturers and biomaterials researchers can screen thousands of polymers in less than a week, "yielding significant economic savings in both the time and expense of medical device testing."

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Zebrafish

Microtest Laboratories has announced new fast-track toxicity testing for medical devices using Zebrafish embryos.

Microtest compared the Zebrafish embryos to the current USP Cytotoxicity Assay, live mouse fibroblasts (L929) cells in culture, and noted that the mouse cells failed to detect bisphenol A (BPA) during testing, while its Zebrafish embryo screen succeeded. While not formally defined as a toxin, BPA is coming under ever greater regulatory scrutiny.

"Microtest's new Zebrafish embryo assay has better sensitivity and generates more scientific data than the small animal tests currently recommended by the FDA," Richter said, adding that the use of Zebrafish embryos has the potential to reduce or eliminate the current animal testing required for all medical devices testing, adding that the Zebrafish embryo vertebrate model has demonstrated similarities to mammalian models and humans in toxicity testing.

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