An In Vitro System to Predict the Development of Pulmonary Fibrosis

PETA Science Consortium International held a workshop in 2015 that resulted in expert recommendations on the design of an in vitro system to predict the development of pulmonary fibrosis. The Science Consortium subsequently funded MatTek Life Sciences to optimize a reconstructed human tissue model of the lower respiratory tract (EpiAlveolarTM) and funded Professor Dr Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser of the Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and Professor Dr Vicki Stone of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K. to use the tissue model to test nanomaterials (here). To complement the in vitro system, the Science Consortium also helped develop an adverse outcome pathway on lung fibrosis (see the AOP-wiki entry here).

This work is part of the Science Consortium’s larger effort to advance reliable and relevant in vitro inhalation toxicity testing approaches. In addition to the above, in 2015 and 2016, the Consortium co-sponsored webinars and workshops on acute systemic toxicity testing (here) and acute inhalation toxicity testing (here), and in 2017, held a contest to award researchers with VITROCELL® in vitro inhalation exposure devices. One of these devices was awarded to Professor Dr Vicki Stone so that her research team could continue the above testing as part of the EU Horizon 2020-funded project, PATROLS.


Barosova H, Maione AG, Septiadi D, Sharma M, Haeni L, Balog S, O’Connell O, Jackson GR, Brown D, Clippinger AJ, Hayden P, Petri-Fink A, Stone V, Rothen-Rutishauser B. Use of EpiAlveolar lung model to predict fibrotic potential of multi-walled carbon nanotubesACS Nano. 2020;14(4):3941-3956.

Clippinger AJ, Ahluwalia A, Allen D, Bonner JC, Casey W, Castranova V, David RM, Halappanavar S, Hotchkiss JA, Jarabek AM, Maier M, Polk W, Rothen-Rutishauser B, Sayes CM, Sayre P, Sharma M, Stone V. Expert consensus on an in vitro approach to assess pulmonary fibrogenic potential of aerosolized nanomaterialsArchives of Toxicology. 2016;90(7):1769-1783.

Polk W, Sharma M, Sayes CM, Hotchkiss JA, Clippinger AJ. Aerosol generation and characterization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes exposed to cells cultured at the air-liquid interfaceParticle and Fibre Toxicology. 2016;13(1):20.

Sharma M, Nikota J, Halappanavar S, Castranova V, Rothen-Rutishauser B, Clippinger, AJ. Predicting pulmonary fibrosis in humans after exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)Archives of Toxicology. 2016;90(7):1605-1622.

Nano workshop 2015 collage pic2