In Vitro Biology and Toxicology: Emerging Methods and Best Practices
SaferWorldbyDesign Webinars

Tuesday, 9 March 2021 - 16:00 CET


This webinar panel session will discuss a number of topics with regards to emerging methods and best practices for in vitro systems which are increasingly used for biological research, toxicology, design and screening, disease modelling, and diagnostics. In particular, we will focus on practices required for ensuring quality and reproducibility of results including good cell culture practice, documentation, and transfer of protocols, data management and analysis, comparison of methods, and reporting of information.


  • Good Cell Culture Practice

  • Good Protocol Practice

  • Data Management, Integrity

  • Information Reporting

  • Comparison of Methods (2D vs 3D, HCS, Omics, reporter assays)

  • Extrapolation of in vitro data to in vivo

  • Use of Stem Cell Biological Systems

  • Emerging approaches in Multi-cellular and Organ-on-Chip Systems


Each Panel presenter will make a 10-minute presentation followed by questions. The session will complete with a 30-minute open forum discussion to discuss issues and questions raised by the audience with the panel.

Presenter Panel:

Glyn Stacey (SSC Bio), Good Cell Culture Practice
Barry Hardy (Edelweiss Connect), Best Practices in Data Management and Integrity
Andreas Kurtz (Charité), Use of Stem Cell Biological Systems
Thomas Darde (SciLicium), Best Practice in Toxicogenomics
Wolfgang Moritz (InSphero) and Beren Atac Wagegg (TissUse), Best Practice for Organ-on-Chip Applications


Good Cell Culture Practice: Benefits to Science and Medicine

Glyn N Stacey

International Stem Cell Banking Initiative, Barley, UK.

National Stem Cell Resource Centre, Institute of Zoology and Institute for Stem Cell and Regeneration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Traditionally, tissue culture has been a technology often seen as the domain of specialist skills and qualitative evaluation based on the personal experience of individual scientists. In more recent years it has become clear that culture conditions have a significant impact on the performance of in vitro cultures. In addition, there has been increasing recognition of the impact of cell culture contaminants such as mycoplasma and the widespread problems arising from the lack of cell line authentication. The impact of such issues have been recognised as a particular problem for the quality and reproducibility of scientific data in toxicology which led to an initiative to develop guidance for researchers which emerged as Good Cell Culture Practice (Coecke et al., 2005). Since 2005 the emergence of induced pluripotent stem cell cultures and the significant advancements in 3D and micro-physiological cell systems led working groups of the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) to recommend the updating of GCCP (GCCP2.0), to take account of these new developments. This presentation will summarise the key elements of GCCP2.0 and describe its role in the development of in vitro assays as outlined in the new Good In Vitro Methods Practice published by the OECD in 2017 with the intention of supporting efficient development of new in vitro assays and improving the reproducibility of scientific data.   

Best Practices in Data Management and Integrity

Barry Hardy, CEO, Edelweiss Connect

An important commitment we are making is to ensure data integrity across the journey from research to practice, from case study work to service execution, from study planning through data generation to downstream consumption. When I say we, I mean as a community and with collaborative action. Such work starts with the supporting knowledge infrastructure that we are committed with partners to the value of data integrity. During method development and case study work on research programs such as EU-ToxRisk, we work towards having a knowledge memory supported by well-documented protocols, metadata, and data. In our work with partners on SaferWorldbyDesign, we are also committed to these values in providing solutions with an evidence-based response. The data preparation and documentation starts with the raw data which is then processed and provided to the data analysis which can be delivered to the problem formulator. I will discuss best practice examples in data Management and integrity using in vitro based data.

Best practices in toxicogenomics

Thomas Darde, SciLicium

 Modern toxicology is challenged in its aspiration to test and risk-assess the myriad of chemicals humans potentially can be exposed to. We still lack sufficient data to perform proper human risk assessments for a large proportion of environmental chemicals and we still know very little about many of the molecular mechanisms that cause adverse effects.  One way to help speed up the effort is to take advantage of the many advances in genomics technologies and apply them to toxicity testing-strategies, or at the very least use them to better characterize the causative molecular mechanisms. For instance, single-cell Bulk RNA Barcoding (BRB-) and single-cell RNA (scRNA-) sequencing techniques hold great promise for not only enabling the analyses of large sample sizes at low cost but also to capture toxico-molecular events and genomic susceptibilities at the cellular level. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that toxicogenomics is a sensitive field in terms of experimental design, experimentation, or data analysis. This requires adopting some best practices to minimize the experimental batch effect or make data comparable, for example.

Best Practice for Organ-on-Chip applications

Wolfgang Moritz, InSphero and Beren Atac Wagegg, TissUse

In vitro methods are an indispensable tool for basic and applied research and become more widely used also in the area of drug development, chemical safety, and risk assessment. Particularly the recent development of methodologies allowing to generate advanced multi-cellular in vitro models and their integration into organ-on-chip (OoC) systems enables to simulate and investigate complex and systemic biological processes which otherwise could only be addressed in vivo. Biological relevance is ultimately linked to system complexity which poses a challenge with respect to standardization and quality assurance. Here we discuss two representative, but conceptionally different OoC systems, the Tissuse “Humimics” and InSphero’s “Akura™ Flow” Microphysiological Discoveries Platforms and related exemplified best practice measures to warrant the reliability and relevance of OoC-derived in vitro data for quantitative human safety assessment purposes.

Use of Stem Cell Biological Systems 

Andreas Kurtz, Charité

Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) can be differentiated into any cell type of the human body. In addition, they can be generated from somatic cells of every person. These cells are thus a resource for drug and toxicology assays, which can be tailored specific for organs, tissues and cells as well as personalized. PSC resources are available from internationally acting banks with high QC standards and strict ethical provenance. The webinar will focus on the resources available through stem cell banks, their maintenance, expansion and their role as a mediator between cell donor and user.