In vitro air-liquid interface (ALI) exposure method to simulate in vivo inhalation exposure
Scope of the method
- Human health
- Basic Research
- Translational - Applied Research
- In vitro - Ex vivo
- Human derived cells / tissues / organs
- in vitro and in vivo tool
- in vitro
- cell culture
- in vitro
- lung disease
- respiratory toxicology
VITO can offer expertise in animal-free methods for inhalation testing. VITO has an Air-Liquid Interface (ALI) platform with three ALI exposure modules: two commercial systems for bronchial studies and one in-house developed system for lower airway studies. At VITO ALI exposure modules, aerosol generation and online characterization instruments, and a battery of biological assays (e.g. TransEpithelial Electrical Resistance, cell viability/cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response) can be used for screening of human health impact of e.g. Nano/ultrafine particles, Environmental/occupational compounds, Petroleum-derived substances, consumer products, pharmaceuticals (toxicity, efficacy, pharmacokinetics).
- Air-liquid interface exposure system(s) ;
- (Nano)aerosol generation facilities :
- - Condensation Monodisperse Aerosol generator,
- - Electrospray Aerosol generator,
- - Single and Six Jet atomizers,
- - Solid Aerosol generator,
- - and a Soot generator;
- Dedicated cell culture laboratories and assay facilities for biological endpoint measurements.
- History of use
- Internally validated
- Published in peer reviewed journal
Pros, cons & Future potential
Inhalation toxicity testing has traditionally been conducted using animals. Concerns related to the weak predictive ability as well as the use of animals, cost, time, and technical difficulty of in vivo inhalation resulted in the development of in vitro efficient and accurate, human-relevant lung cell-based methods to assess the potential hazards associated with xenobiotic exposure. The first in vitro inhalation studies were performed with submerged lung cell cultures. While these cultures are still widely used in in vitro pulmonary toxicity studies due to relative ease of handling, dispersion exposures are poorly representative of aerosol inhalation in humans. To overcome this, in vitro systems are developed for airborne exposure of lung cells at the air-liquid interface.
There are different ALI exposure systems on the market. No harmonized protocols are available.
Yes, ALI technology might be of relevant for biotech/pharma sector.
References, associated documents and other information
Frijns E et al. 2017. A Novel Exposure System Termed NAVETTA for In Vitro Laminar Flow Electrodeposition of Nanoaerosol and Evaluation of Immune Effects in Human Lung Reporter Cells. Environmental Science & Technology, 51 (9), DOI:10.1021/acs.est.7b00493
Patent application for NAVETTA product; Flatbed air-liquid interface exposure module and methods (EP16200571.4; 2016, CN201780072888.1; 2019)
Contact personSandra Verstraelen
OrganisationsVlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO)