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Expert insights on in vitro alternatives for drug and chemical toxicity testing  

In vitro toxicity testing is rapidly being adopted in the pharmaceutical, chemical, and cosmetics industries, for example, as an alternative to animal studies to predict adverse health effects of drugs and personal care products and the health consequences of environmental exposures. An insightful Roundtable Discussion focused on how to apply these novel toxicology models to everyday hazard prediction, risk assessment, and decision making in industry was published in the journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology.
Panelists participated in a Roundtable Discussion entitled "Comments on How to Make the New Vision of Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century a Reality", and were challenged to present a realistic view of how far the field has advanced in implementing the strategy put forth in a National Academy of Sciences report to improve toxicity testing. The conversation covered topics ranging from policy issues, challenges related to data interpretation and understanding the information gained from in vitro models, the emergence of three-dimensional tissue culture models that integrate cells from multiple human organs, and the different approaches being used to assess risk from high-dose, short-term exposures compared to exposure to lower concentrations of a chemical over longer periods of time.

New hybrid material that changes colour according to the direction of the light

The aim with respect to hybrid materials with one organic component and another inorganic one is to combine the best attributes of each one into a single system. Labs across the world are working to develop new hybrid materials for technological applications in nanotechnologies, in particular, and these materials are already being used in lightweight materials for cars, sports equipment, in biomimetic materials, like prostheses, etc.
 The hybrid material being sought after by the research group in the Department of Physical Chemistry needed to meet a number of very specific requirements. The host inorganic material needed to have a crystalline structure with parallel nanochannels, so that the molecules in the guest organic material, a dye, could be aligned; the size of the pores of the host needed to be less than 1nm (a millionth part of a millimetre) so that the dye would just fit; finally, not just one, but two dyes of similar size and shape were needed, but they had to have complementary optical properties that would respond differently when stimulated by light.
So the main challenge was to achieve that perfect fit between the inorganic nanostructure and the dye molecules. They achieved it by using as the host material an aluminophosphate (AIPO-11) that has a suitable pore size to accommodate dyes with a structure of three fused benzene rings, like the chosen ones: pyronin, with green fluorescence, and acridine, with blue fluorescence. "The dyes enter in order, they align themselves along the nanochannels, and their fluorescent properties are improved in them," explained Virginia Martinez, a Ramón y Cajal researcher in the Molecular Spectroscopy group. The improvement is due not only to the fact that the molecular flexibility of the dye is restricted, but also because the latter is included monomerically, in other words, it enters the channel in separate units, and thanks to that they are highly luminescent because the fluorescence is lost when they are added.
To obtain that perfect fit, the synthesis procedure played a fundamental role. Usually, in photoactive hybrid materials the organic part is inserted into the inorganic part from the gas or liquid phase by means of diffusion, but with this method the occlusion level that this research needed was not achieved. So they opted to insert the dye into the gel with which the inorganic material is synthesised, so that as the crystal grew the organic chromophore would be gradually incorporated.
At the beginning, they inserted a single dye, pyronin, and obtained a highly luminescent material. In fact, by using confocal fluorescence microscopy, they recorded an almost total aligning of the dye molecules along the channel (dichroic ratio of 40), an alignment that had not previously been reported. They then went on to incorporate pyronin and acridine into the synthesis process at the same time and obtained rectangular crystals of 30 X 20 microns that strikingly changed colour depending on the polarisation of the light they were being illuminated by: if the polarisation took place along the channel it was seen as green; if it occurred perpendicularly, it displayed the colour blue. This behaviour indicated that a transfer of energy was taking place between the dyes. "The tuning of colour is also an instantaneous, efficient process that can be fully reversed and reproduced with high resistance to fatigue," pointed out Iñigo López-Arbeloa. So the potential applications of photoactive hybrid materials of this type are numerous: they can be used as antenna in photovoltaic cells, to store information, in photonic cables, in laser systems, etc. In fact, the new hybrid material constitutes an advance in the development of tunable solid-state lasers, of great biomedical interest, since they are easier to use and less polluting that the liquids currently being used


The Bioplastic Specialist FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and Corbion Purac have joined forces to develop PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) compounds for both heat resistant and GMO-free applications. FKuR and Corbion are targeting new bioplastic compounds for applications which include both food and non-food packaging, as well as several durable products e.g. toys, office supplies. In particular, Corbion and FKuR will be working to develop those applications where high temperature resistance is required, which, until now, could not work with many standard bioplastics. In order to develop new markets for PLA, both partners have agreed to a common development. Edmund Dolfen, CEO of FKuR pointed out: "We are very excited about this strategic partnership with Corbion Purac and the technical capabilities of the PLA which offers us incomparable opportunities to design high engineered bio-compounds". François de Bie, Marketing Director PLA Bioplastics at Corbion Purac added: "FKuR, a recognized leading player in the development and production of bioplastics, is the right partner for Corbion Purac to develop compounds thus taking PLA further. By bringing together our expertise and combining our research strengths, we can develop biobased performance compounds to rival traditional fossil plastics". Corbion Purac's lactide monomers are sourced from GMO free, renewable feedstocks such as sugarcane, and form the basis for high performance Poly Lactic Acid bioplastics (PLA).



SCHOTT has showcased its syriQTM InJentle prefillable syringes. These high-quality, prefillable glass syringes represent a superior delivery system for the increasingly advanced medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies, especially sensitive biotech drugs. syriQ InJentle’s unique design safely stores drugs and allows for easy administration in a continuing effort to ensure patient safety and health. Anil-Kumar Busimi, Head of Global Product Management Syringe Business at SCHOTT has referred: “In prefillable syringes, the drug is in contact with more materials than in other types of pharmaceutical primary packaging […] There’s contact with the glass, needle, needle glue, needle shield, plunger, and a silicone oil used as lubricant inside of the syringe barrel. With so many materials coming in contact with the drug, the chances of an interaction between the drug and syringe components increase dramatically, and the risk is even higher for sensitive biotech drugs. syriQ InJentle syringes, however, limit the contact materials to glass and rubber, equivalent to the materials drugs are exposed to when housed in vials. Through syriQ InJentle’s advanced design, SCHOTT has reduced this risk and is helping pharmaceutical companies improve their drugs and increase patient safety”. The design of syriQ InJentle syringes prevents the drug from coming into contact with the needle and the adhesive during storage to ensure drug stability. Another substance critical to syringe functionality—silicone oil—is used to lubricate the inside of the syringe barrel to ensure smooth injection. However, silicone oil has been attributed to unexpected reactions with some biological drugs, leading to protein aggregation or an increase in subvisible particles. This is a new challenge for biotech drug developers. To solve this challenge, the syriQ InJentle barrel has baked-on silicone, which significantly reduces the interaction between the drug and the silicone while maintaining the functionality.



AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry has announced it will relocate its Personal Care activities from Sempach, Switzerland, to its regional headquarters in Stenungsund, Sweden. The Personal Care technical service and customer service departments will move during the fourth quarter of 2014. Full integration into the existing organization in Stenungsund is expected by December 31, 2014. “This change will bring many new opportunities that we believe will benefit our customers based in Europe”, said Matthias Pfaffernoschke, Sales and Marketing Director for Personal Care and added: “We’ll continue every day to improve our service levels to our customers”.


AAK announced on April 9, 2014 an agreement to acquire the oils and fats business of CSM Benelux NV in Merksem, Belgium. The company is a leading bakery fats supplier to the bakery markets in Belgium, the Netherlands and Franceand provides a variety of baker y fat solutions, margarines and pumpable shortenings. The transaction is scheduled to be executed on July 1, 2014 and will be consolidated into Food Ingredients. The acquired business employs around 100 people and had revenues of approximately SEK 970 million in 2013. The integration work will start immediately. Acquisition related costs will be charged to the second quarter of 2014. As earlier communicated, the acquisition will start contributing to AAK’s operating profit during the second half of 2015.



Sun Deep Cosmetics is a prestigious and progressive private label manufacturer of personal care cosmetics, toiletries and OTC products. Sun Deep offers custom formulated products for retailers, distributors, marketers, and entrepreneurs. The goal of Sun Deep is to provide our customers with outstanding quality and service from product conception to completion, using state of the art technologies and processing methods. Sun Deep’s seasoned product development team has developed hundreds of successful products for mass market and the exclusive health food store market.



Stress, fatigue, anxiety, crisis… consumers are seeking products/experiences that revitalize the body, boost the mood and remove gloom and dullness. As a remedy against gloom, pomelo fruit is a delight for the senses. With sparkling, refreshing & stimulating effect, festive and colourful aspect, it is vital for anti-gloom attitude! Phytessence™ Pink Pomelo EC promotes well-being, free from stress and anxiety! Symbol of freshness and vitality, Phytessence Pink Pomelo EC is designed to activate cell renewal. To fight against dulling aspect and awaken radiance, it is indispensable to provide cell renewal, to remove irregularities and achieve better light reflection. Helping skin regeneration enables the deepest, hence youngest layers to appear at the surface. The smoother and healthier the epidermis is, the more it reflects and interacts with light and the more the skin complexion is radiant. Whereas skin scrubbing remains the best ally of radiance, it can be the worst enemy of sensitive, fragile and intolerant skin. The percentage of population with sensitive skin in the world is increasing. As gentle as it is effective, Phytessence™ Pink Pomelo EC is suitable for sensitive skin. Organic certified extract by Ecocert Greenlife, Phytessence™ Pink Pomelo EC is a natural and mild exfoliating agent that improves the appearance of the skin. This extract is an answer to the quest for luminous and blemish-free skin, to enhance complexion, reduce ageing signs and provide light, radiance and freshness to the skin.


DuPont was recently honoured at the Holmes Report's SABRE Awards, receiving the prestigious Gold SABRE for best Public Education Campaign, in recognition of the DuPont thought leadership efforts around global food security, and, in particular, the launch of the Global Food Security Index. Starting in 2011, DuPont set out to establish itself as a leading global voice in the critical dialogue around the issues related to feeding the growing, global population. DuPont conceived of the idea for a dynamic scoring model that could assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of more than 100 different countries around food security issues, and commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research arm of the Economist Group, to create the tool. On July 10, 2012, the Index was unveiled at launch events in Washington, D.C., Brussels, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Johannesburg. More than 500 influencers across government, industry, academia and NGOs attended the events. The global launch garnered significant earned media coverage and was supported by robust social media amplification, including live streaming video on Since the launch, more than 15 country-specific Food Security Index “spotlight” events have been hosted by DuPont in all corners of the world. Additional events are planned in Turkey, Chile and several other countries for the remainder of 2013. “This recognition is unprecedented for DuPont and is a major step in positioning our company as a pioneering thought leader in the food security space,” said Anthony Farina, director of Corporate Communications -- Public Affairs, Engagement Reputation Management. “The Thought Leadership programs are a strategic imperative to driving business growth, and its ongoing success along with the external recognition from these awards, are truly a tribute to the collaborative, One DuPont spirit of the cross-team from the food/Ag businesses and Corporate Communications



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