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Cell Cytotoxicity Assay: In vitro Assays
In vitro toxicity testing is the scientific analysis of the effects of toxic chemical substances on cultured bacteria or mammalian cells. In vitro (literally 'in glass') testing methods are employed primarily to identify potentially hazardous chemicals and/or to confirm the lack of certain toxic properties in the early stages of the development of potentially useful new substances such as therapeutic drugs, agricultural chemicals and food additives.
In vitro assays for xenobiotic toxicity are recently carefully considered by key government agencies (e.g. EPA; NIEHS/NTP; FDA), to better assess human risks. There are substantial activities in using in vitro systems to advance mechanistic understanding of toxicant activities, and the use of human cells and tissue to define human-specific toxic effects.