PETA Science Consortium International and MatTek Life Sciences 3D Reconstructed Human Tissue Awards


PETA Science Consortium International and MatTek Life Sciences awarded free EpiAlveolar™ and EpiAirway™ tissues. These three-dimensional reconstructed human tissue models can be used to test the respiratory effects of inhaled chemicals, drugs, nanomaterials, and pathogens.

EpiAlveolar models the lower respiratory tract and includes primary human alveolar epithelial cells, pulmonary endothelial cells, and fibroblasts. EpiAirway models the upper respiratory tract and comprises normal, human-derived tracheal/bronchial epithelial cells.

First Place

Professor Dr Eleonore Fröhlich from the Medical University of Graz in Austria received US$10,000, redeemable for EpiAlveolar™ and EpiAirway™ tissues. She will use the tissues to evaluate the effects of different sizes of carbon nanotubes on the function of the upper airways (e.g. mucociliary clearance and ciliary beating frequency) and lower airways (e.g. morphology and cytokine secretion).

“I am so happy that I won this award! The use of EpiAirway and EpiAlveolar in parallel will enable us to compare the effects of various carbon nanotubes on functional aspects of the upper and lower airways.” — Dr Fröhlich


Dr Elizabeth Fiona McInnes from Syngenta Ltd UK received US$5,000, redeemable for EpiAlveolar™ and EpiAirway™ tissues that she will use to assess the potential toxicity of agrochemicals in the upper and lower respiratory tract.

“Syngenta Ltd are delighted to have been chosen as runner-up for this award. We plan to use the MatTek EpiAlveolar and EpiAirway tissues to generate data on potential pesticide respiratory toxicity to convince regulatory agencies that an in vivo inhalation study in the rodent model is not necessary.” — Dr McInnes


The Science Consortium and MatTek teamed up to offer researchers a variety of three-dimensional reconstructed human tissue models—including respiratory, dermal, ocular, intestinal, oral, and vaginal—that can be used for regulatory safety testing, product development, and basic research applications.

To meet regulatory testing requirements, the EpiDerm™ and EpiOcular™ models can be used according to internationally accepted test guidelines to determine chemical safety throughout the cosmetic, chemical, pharmaceutical, and household product industries. In product development and basic research, 3D models have been used in a broad range of experimental applications including drug delivery, inflammation, metabolism, apoptosis, and gene analysis, amongst many others.

Free or discounted MatTek tissues were awarded to select researchers who submitted a brief (500 words or less) proposal on how MatTek tissues could be used in their work to reduce animal testing.

Forty-five proposals from more than a dozen countries were submitted, demonstrating the breadth of applications in which MatTek tissues can replace the use of animals and a clear interest within the scientific community to use non-animal methods to predict human health outcomes. Originally, three winners were to be selected; however, because there were so many excellent proposals, four winners were selected and an additional four were chosen to receive discounted tissues.

The following received $5,000 worth of MatTek tissue:

  • Kathryn Page, PhD, The Clorox Company, for testing eye and skin irritancy potential of product formulations with EpiOcularTM and EpiDermTM;
  • Susan C. Tilton, PhD, Oregon State University, for computationally modeling the carcinogenic risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures with EpiAirwayTM;
  • Jan Willem de Vries, PhD, University Eye Hospital Tübingen, for testing an ophthalmic drug carrier system based on DNA nanoparticles with EpiOcularTM; and
  • Hyun Jung Kim, PhD, University of Texas at Austin, for modeling human intestinal inflammatory disease with EpiIntestinalTM.

The following received an Honorable Mention and a fifty percent discount on MatTek tissues:

  • Susanne Kolle, PhD, BASF SE, for testing eye irritancy potential of agrochemical formulations with EpiOcularTM;
  • Ian Jarvis, PhD and Volker Arlt, PhD, King’s College of London, for studying air pollution by testing aerosolized particulate matter with EpiAirwayTM;
  • Daniel Packert, PhD, Barry University, to develop a method using EpiDermTM to study treatment options for wounds infected with multiple microorganisms;
  • Joseph Skeate, PhD, University of Southern California, to develop a regulatory test method to evaluate potential anti-inflammatory responses of essential oils using EpiDermTM.