The research has been driven by the University of Cincinnati (UC) James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and funded by a Brussels-based consortium.
The scientists say that there are broad range of possible applications for the development of consumer products, specifically cosmetics and personal care.
A solution for non-animal testing
Furthermore, the development of the testing method could also be a step towards non-animal testing alternatives, a key challenge for formulation professionals trying to meet both regulatory and consumer demands.
The research has been led by Gerald Kasting, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UC, and was presented at the 8th annual meeting of the International Society of Porous Media (Interpore) on Wednesday, May 11, at the Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel in downtown Cincinnati.
During the presentation, Kasting pointed out how the mathematical model allows scientists to test chemical compounds virtually, which negates the need for either humans or animals to test on.
Predictive models determine precise effect
"A lot of people have models, but we have predictive models," Kasting says of developing mathematical equations to determine whether a chemical compound will penetrate skin or induce allergy based on the results of prior compounds.
"Instead of doing testing on 30,000 compounds, we are able to test a subset of say 200 and make predictions about the other 29,800 based on the subset."
In particular, Kasting stresses that this solution will help many and cosmetic and personal care formulation experts who are currently impacted by REACH regulation, which is moving towards the total outlawing of animal testing methods by 2018.
"In order to produce globally, companies need to meet and adhere to the most stringent guidelines. Potentially troublesome ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives are widely used in the cosmetic and personal care industry, so manufacturers are very interested in ways to improve testing," Kasting said.