Evaluation of eye irritation potential of solid substance with new 3D reconstructed human cornea model, MCTT HCE™

Won Hee Jang, Kyoung Mi Jung, Hye Ri Yang, Miri Lee, Haeng Sun Jung, Su Hyon Lee, Miyoung Park, Kyung Min Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The eye irritation potential of drug candidates or pharmaceutical ingredients should be evaluated if there is a possibility of ocular exposure. Traditionally, the ocular irritation has been evaluated by the rabbit Draize test. However, rabbit eyes are more sensitive to irritants than human eyes, therefore substantial level of false positives are unavoidable. To resolve this species difference, several three-dimensional human corneal epithelial (HCE) models have been developed as alternative eye irritation test methods. Recently, we introduced a new HCE model, MCTT HCETM which is reconstructed with non-transformed human corneal cells from limbal tissues. Here, we examined if MCTT HCETM can be employed to evaluate eye irritation potential of solid substances. Through optimization of washing method and exposure time, treatment time was established as 10 min and washing procedure was set up as 4 times of washing with 10 mL of PBS and shaking in 30 mL of PBS in a beaker. With the established eye irritation test protocol, 11 solid substances (5 non-irritants, 6 irritants) were evaluated which demonstrated an excellent predictive capacity (100% accuracy, 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity). We also compared the performance of our test method with rabbit Draize test results and in vitro cytotoxicity test with 2D human corneal epithelial cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalBiomolecules and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology.


  • Eye irritation
  • MCTT HCETM model
  • Protocol refinement
  • Reconstructed cornea model


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