Use EpiDerm to assess the phototoxic potential of topical chemicals or formulations with the ECVAM pre-validated phototoxicity protocol. MatTek has also developed a protocol to assess systemic dermal toxicity.


MatTek’s patented EpiDerm™ System consists of normal, human-derived epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) which have been cultured to form a multilayered, highly differentiated model of the human epidermis. These “ready-to-use” tissues are cultured on specially prepared cell culture inserts using serum free medium, and attain levels of differentiation on the cutting edge of in vitro skin technology. Ultrastructurally, the EpiDerm Skin Model closely parallels human skin, thus providing a useful in vitro means to assess dermal irritancy and toxicology.

EpiDerm Histology Image

  1. Transfer tissues from agarose to assay medium
  2. Incubate (37 ±1°C, 5 ±1% CO2, 95% RH) for 1h
  3. Transfer tissues to fresh assay medium
  4. Set 1 – Dose 2 tissues each with 1 of 5 concentrations of TS or 1 VC
  5. Set 2 – Dose 2 tissues each with 1 of 5 concentrations of TS or 1 VC (identical to step 4.)
  6. Expose tissues overnight (18-24 hrs) (37 ±1°C, 5 ±1% CO2, 95% RH)
  7. Irradiate Set 1 for 60 min with 1.7 mW/cm2 (6 J/cm2) at room temperature.  Keep Set 2 in the dark.
  8. Stop exposure and wash tissues with DPBS
  9. Transfer tissues to fresh assay medium
  10. Incubate (37 ±1°C, 5 ±1% CO2, 95% RH) overnight (18 – 24 hrs)
  11. Blot tissues and perform MTT assay
  12. Read OD in a plate spectrophotometer at 550-570nm


MTT Tissue Viability Assay


Download the EpiDerm Phototoxicity Test Protocol.

Download the Systemic Phototoxicity Protocol.

For more information, view Technical References.

Learn more about EpiDerm.