A team of scientists at University of Coimbra (UC) in Portugal have developed a new test method called Sensitiser Predictor for detection of chemical allergen cutaneous, which assesses skin sensitivity and could greatly mitigate animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

The test was developed by the Centre for Neuroscience (CNC) and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra (UC), which aims to be used in skin sensitisation assessment with substituting the animal tests, reported cometicsdesign.com.

The researchers said the new in vitro process was based on the use of preserved skin cells for evaluation.

The process includes examining of various parameters and cutaneous allergenicity of chemicals before they make their way into the market, therefore doing away with the respective animal tests.

University of Coimbra researcher Teresa Cruz Rosete said the new process is a much faster method than those in use today which take recourse in animal testing (mice).

"It is more economical and capable of being used on a large scale," Rosete added.

According to the website, the new method claims to be the pattern shift in toxicity evaluation (toxicological) compounds.

Also, the international scientific community is focusing specifically on the development of simple and rapid methods to replace animal testing.

The research team said the project, which has an international patent under evaluation, is also funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), but still lacks the validation of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods – ECVAM, so it can be considered a reference test the OECD.