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Eye irritation

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eye irritation: in vitro / ex vivo
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
This study was conducted on 31 August 2016
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
guideline study

Data source

Reference Type:
study report
Report date:

Materials and methods

Test guidelineopen allclose all
according to guideline
OECD Guideline 437 (Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Test Method for Identifying i) Chemicals Inducing Serious Eye Damage and ii) Chemicals Not Requiring Classification for Eye Irritation or Serious Eye Damage)
Version / remarks:
26 July 2013
according to guideline
EU method B.47 (Bovine corneal opacity and permeability test method for identifying ocular corrosives and severe irritants)
Version / remarks:
EC No. 440/2008
GLP compliance:
yes (incl. QA statement)

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
C12 H24 O
Test material form:
Clear, colorless

Test animals / tissue source

not specified
Details on test animals or tissues and environmental conditions:
Eyes from adult cattle (typically 12 to 60 months old) were obtained from a local abattoir as a by-product from freshly slaughtered animals. The eyes were excised by an abattoir employee after slaughter,

Test system

unchanged (no vehicle)
yes, concurrent positive control
yes, concurrent negative control
Amount / concentration applied:
0.75 mL as supplied
Duration of treatment / exposure:
10 minutes
Duration of post- treatment incubation (in vitro):
120 minutes
Number of animals or in vitro replicates:
Details on study design:
Study Design
Preparation of Corneas
All eyes were macroscopically examined before and after dissection. Only corneas free of damage were used.
The cornea from each selected eye was removed leaving a 2 to 3 mm rim of sclera to facilitate handling. The iris and lens were peeled away from the cornea. The isolated corneas were immersed in a dish containing HBSS until they were mounted in Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) holders.
The anterior and posterior chambers of each BCOP holder were filled with complete Eagle’s Minimum Essential Medium (EMEM) without phenol red and plugged. The holders were incubated at 32 ± 1 ºC for 60 minutes. At the end of the incubation period each cornea was examined for defects. Only corneas free of damage were used.

Selection of Corneas and Opacity Reading
The medium from both chambers of each holder was replaced with fresh complete EMEM.
A pre treatment opacity reading was taken for each cornea using a calibrated opacitometer. The average opacity for all corneas was calculated.
Three corneas with opacity values close to the median value of all corneas were allocated to the negative control. Three corneas were also allocated to the test item and three corneas to the positive control item

Treatment of Corneas
The EMEM was removed from the anterior chamber of the BCOP holder and 0.75 mL of the test item or control items were applied to the appropriate corneas. The holders were gently tilted back and forth to ensure a uniform application of the item over the entire cornea. Each holder was incubated, anterior chamber uppermost, at 32 ± 1 ºC for 10 minutes.
At the end of the exposure period the test item and control items were removed from the anterior chamber and the cornea was rinsed three times with fresh complete EMEM containing phenol red before a final rinse with complete EMEM without phenol red. The anterior chamber was refilled with fresh complete EMEM without phenol red. A post-treatment opacity reading was taken and each cornea was visually observed.
The holders were incubated, anterior chamber facing forward, at 32 ± 1 ºC for 120 minutes.
After incubation the holders were removed from the incubator, the medium from both chambers was replaced with fresh complete EMEM and a final opacity reading was taken. Each cornea was visually observed.

Application of Sodium Fluorescein
Following the final opacity measurement the permeability of the corneas to sodium fluorescein was evaluated. The medium from the anterior chamber was removed and replaced with 1 mL of sodium fluorescein solution (4 mg/mL). The dosing holes were plugged and the holders incubated, anterior chamber uppermost, at 32 ± 1 ºC for 90 minutes.

Permeability Determinations
After incubation the medium in the posterior chamber of each holder was decanted and retained.
360 µL of medium representing each cornea was applied to a designated well on a 96 well plate and the optical density at 492 nm (OD492) was measured using the Anthos 2001 microplate reader.

The corneas were retained after testing for possible conduct of histopathology. Each cornea was placed into a pre labeled tissue cassette fitted with a histology sponge to protect the endothelial surface. The cassette was immersed in 10% neutral buffered formalin.

Results and discussion

In vitro

Irritation parameter:
in vitro irritation score
ca. 7.6
Negative controls validity:
Positive controls validity:
Remarks on result:
no indication of irritation
Other effects / acceptance of results:
Corneal Opacity and Permeability Measurement
Individual and mean corneal opacity measurements and individual and mean corneal permeability measurements are given in Table 1.

Corneal Epithelium Condition
The corneas treated with the test item were clear post treatment and post incubation. The corneas treated with the negative control item were clear post treatment and post incubation. The corneas treated with the positive control item were cloudy post treatment and post incubation.

Criteria for an Acceptable Test
The positive control In Vitro Irritancy Score was within the range of 29.6 to 52.0. The positive control acceptance criterion was therefore satisfied.
The negative control gave opacity of ≤2.9 and permeability ≤0.103. The negative control acceptance criteria were therefore satisfied

Any other information on results incl. tables

Table 1: Individual and Mean Corneal Opacity and Permeability Measurements

 Treatment 1  Cornea Number  Opacity              Permeability (OD)     In vitro Irritancy score
     Pre-treatment  Post-treatment  Post incubation  Post incubation - pre-treatment  Corrected value    Corrected value  
 Negative contrrol  11  4  4  5  1    0.020    
   12  4  4  6  2    0.020    
   13  4  4  6  2    0.019    
           1.7*    0.020†    2.0
 Positive control  10  3  26  29  26  24.3  1.089  1.069  
   14  2  30  37  35  33.3  1.217  1.197  
   15  4  36  37  33  31.3  0.925  0.905  
             29.7**    1.057**  45.5
 Test Item  16  4  6  10  6  4.3  0.097  0.077  
   17  3  6  12  9  7.3  0.102  0.082  
   18  4  6  13  9  7.3  0.117  0.097  
             6.3**    0.086**  7.6

OD = Optical Density * = Mean of post-incubation - pre-treatment values       †= Mean premeability       **= Mean corrected value

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Interpretation of results:
other: No prediction of eye irritation can be made
No prediction of eye irritation can be made.
Executive summary:


The purpose of this test was to identify test items that can induce serious eye damage and to identify test items not requiring classification for eye irritation or serious eye damage.  The Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) test method is an organotypic model that provides short term maintenance of normal physiological and biochemical function of the bovine cornea in vitro.  In this test method, damage by the test item is assessed by quantitative measurements of changes in corneal opacity and permeability.

The test method can correctly identify test items (both chemicals and mixtures) inducing serious eye damage as well as those not requiring classification for eye irritation or serious eye damage, as defined by the United Nations (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Items (GHS) and EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) of chemicals (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008), and it was therefore endorsed as scientifically valid for both purposes.  Test items inducing serious eye damage are classified as UN GHS and EU CLP Category 1.  Items not classified for eye irritation or serious eye damage are defined as those that do not meet the requirements for classification as UN GHS/ EU CLP Category 1 or 2 (2A or 2B), i.e. they are referred to as UN GHS/EU CLP No Category.


The undiluted test item was applied for 10 minutes followed by an incubation period of 120 minutes.  Negative and positive control items were tested concurrently.  The two endpoints, decreased light transmission through the cornea (opacity) and increased passage of sodium fluorescein dye through the cornea (permeability) were combined in an empirically derived formula to generate an In Vitro Irritancy Score (IVIS).  

Data Interpretation

The test item is classified according to the prediction model as follows:

 IVIS  Classification
 ≤ 3  No category. Not requiring classification to UN GHS or EU CLP
 > 3; ≤55  No prediction of eye irritation can be made
 > 55 Category 1. UN GHS or EU CLP Causes serious eye damage 


The In Vitro irritancy scores are summarized as follows:

 Treatment  In Vitro Irritancy Score
 Test Item  7.6
 Negative Control  2.0
 Positive Control  45.5


No prediction of eye irritation can be made.