Date of Award

Spring 1995

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Jeutter, Dean C.

Second Advisor

Soto, Ricardo J.

Third Advisor

Ropella, Kristina M.

Abstract

It is important to society that industry ensures its products are safe for their intended uses. This is often taken for granted by consumers. The personal care and household products used are not assumed to harm or seriously injure the user. Most consumers do not comprehend the time and money invested by industry to ensure product safety. Pressure from special interest groups and excess Litigation, coupled with relatively limited testing methodology, have driven industry to allocate even more resources to assure the safety of its products. Interest in ocular in vitro toxicology testing has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. New assays are being developed and tested, an intragovernrnental group has been formed, workshops are held at various times throughout the year, etc. Researchers have presented and published numerous papers on ocular in vitro assay research. Many consumer and industrial product companies have invested resources in the further development and testing of particular in vitro assays. Many companies now use in vitro assays to prescreen their products for ocular irritation. It is important for industry and government to work amongst themselves and together to advance the development and use of the best assays for testing products for ocular irritation. Industry needs to move forward; companies need to get out of the comfort zone of safety testing with their favorite assays instead of the most scientific ones. Due to the current limited knowledge of the mechanism of recovery of the eye, it is unlikely that any single in vitro assay will ever be able to replace a whole animal test. It is more realistic to expect that multiple assay testing will need to be conducted to obtain an information profile similar to that obtained from a whole animal test. The research presented herein is an attempt to bring industry closer to this goal by demonstrating the use of modeling, artificial intelligence, and statistics in identifying the best assays to use for predicting the ocular irritation of personal care products.

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