In vitro analysis

I am Lars Rüther and I look after in vitro analysis here at Dermatest.

In vitro testing allows products to be tested for tolerability and efficacy before or instead of testing on a human subject. Based on many years of experience with this type of analysis and our state-of-the-art laboratories, in vitro analysis at Dermatest has several benefits to offer:

  • using physical, histology and biochemistry techniques, specific claims can be made regarding the effects of a product on biological processes in the human skin.
  • 3D models of the skin, grown from primary human cells, adequately reflect the natural properties of skin
  • comprehensive quantitative and qualitative assessment of various parameters is available
  • aspects which cannot be tested on human subjects, such as irritation tests or wound healing studies, can still be investigated
  • techniques can be adapted to the individual product and matter in hand, so that almost every aspect of tolerability and safety can be addressed
  • testing can often be done rapidly, as no human subjects are involved in the study

In vitro analysis

Tests on human subjects are unsuitable or even unable to address many issues or questions. Such testing is often associated with health or safety risks for the test subjects, hence, they are banned on ethical grounds or impossible in practice. This is why here at Dermatest we also use 3D models of the skin when looking at complex issues. We can offer the following tests meeting validated OECD protocols:

  • Skin corrosion testing to OECD TG 431
  • Skin irritation testing to OECD TG 439
  • Eye irritation testing to OECD TG 492

Request your in vitro analysis from us now

We will get back to you promptly

Measurement techniques

In vitro analysis is of great importance in the field of product testing, as certain tests cannot be carried out on human subjects. Depending on the particular study design, in vitro analysis can also precede an application test. Here at Dermatest, we offer a wide range of testing options, allowing you to focus on the potential of your product and showcase its properties. We would be delighted to prepare an individual, tailored quote for you.

3D model of the skin

So as to provide you with the best possible testing methods for your product, our in vitro work is done using Phenion® skin models from Henkel®. The model is composed entirely of human skin cells. The design is modelled on human skin which it resembles in both anatomical and physiological properties. It consists of a fully differentiated epidermis and underlying dermis, containing connective tissue made from natural collagen These highly specific human skin tissue models can be used to broaden our basic cosmetic research and assess the safety of raw materials and products. The investigations and tests which we perform on these models are as close as possible to real skin and you get meaningful, compliant results.


The start of the test and the duration
of an application is strongly
dependent on the study design,
subject enrolment criteria and
associated subject
availability. The timetable is divided
into the recruitment phase, the
application time and preparation of the assessment report.
This timetable will
be finalised once the products
have been received and will be documented in the study protocol
you will receive
from us.

The amount of product for application testing
depends heavily on the study
design. Every test subject
receives sufficient product sample for the
application period (e.g. 4 weeks)
as provision
Frequency of use
and size of the area of application
should be taken into account. We also
need retention samples and,
where possible, some spare samples.
For application testing,
it should be noted that each individual test subject
should be supplied with the product separately,
and that it should be easy to use the product
at home in the correct way
as intended.

Besides the product samples,
the qualitative INCI names
or composition of the test product
is needed for all testing. By way of order confirmation,
we need the study protocol
to be returned to us,

Yes, we can provide sample questionnaires
for a wide variety of product categories,
which can be
as required.

We can suggest various basic tests
which can always be adapted
to suit the preferred test design.

No. In addition to cosmetic
products, we also test consumer goods,
medical devices and biocides
for skin tolerability.

Test methods

Vitality, cell renewal and anti-aging effects

Integrity of the skin barrier/regeneration and protection from damage

Antioxidant potential

Wound healing & inflammation

Penetration/permeations testing



transepithelial electrical resistance


Enzyme-linked Immunoabsorbent Assay

Our team is at your disposal

Dr. Lars Rüther

Dr. Lars Rüther

Study Director, In Vitro Analyses, Research projects


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