Animal Product-Free Services

Our animal-free pledge

At ImmuONE, we are driving the shift towards human-relevant safety assessments, championing the transition from in vivo studies to advanced in vitro methodologies. One of our biggest research interests is adapting assays to be free of animal-derived products, particularly fetal bovine serum (FBS). We are also leading a multidisciplinary research project on this as part of CRACK IT Challenge 36, a challenge-led competition run by the NC3Rs.

FBS is commonly used as a supplement in cell culture media to support cell growth. However, animal-derived serum can affect the biological response of some human cell types, and variation between batches of FBS also limits reproducibility. By replacing FBS with chemically defined media, we can maximise reproducibility and prevent cellular responses from being influenced by unknown chemical components.

Our Services

Cell line transition and characterisation
We work with cell culture medium manufacturers to generate the optimal animal product-free culture medium for cells. We have also developed tried and tested methodologies to transition cell lines from FBS to a chemically defined medium for a range of suspension and adherent cells for maximum success. We have an array of morphological, biochemical and functional assessments to ensure that transitioned cells remain viable and mimic the characteristics of FBS-cultured cells.

TG 487

OECD TG 487 is a regulatory-approved test guideline for assessing agents ability to induce DNA damage (chromosome abbertion) in the in vitro micronucleus assay.

We have adapted TG 487 to be animal-product-free by transitioning the human lymphoblast TK6 cell line to a chemically defined medium. Our research has demonstrated that TK6 cells adapted to the chemically defined medium perform just as well as TK6 cells cultured in FBS-containing medium in the TG 487 assay. 

TG 455

OECD TG 455 describes in vitro assays designed to detect substances that interfere with the effects of oestrogen. The interaction of oestrogen with these substances can adversely affect normal development (ontogenesis), reproductive health and the integrity of the reproductive system. We are working on transitioning hERα-HeLa-9903, the cell line used in annex 2 of TG 455, to a chemically defined medium.

ImmuPHAGE cell painting assays

We are optimising an animal product-free version of our human alveolar macrophage-like model ImmuPHAGE™ (ImmuPHAGE-AF™). ImmuPHAGE-AF™ can be used in our range of cell painting assays to provide a completely animal product-free approach to answering the immune questions for inhaled products in vitro.

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