The Sri Lanka Association for Laboratory Animal Science (SLALAS) conducted its first Workshop on Toxicity Testing for Industrial Purposes and Possible Alternatives in collaboration with the Medical Research Institute (MRI) on March 14th & 15th. This was also the first workshop conducted for the industrial purposes of toxicity testing and the hen egg chorio allontoic membrane method was discussed and demonstrated for the first time in Sri Lanka.
The workshop was inaugurated in the presence of Dr. Sunil de Alwis, Deputy Director General of Education, Research and Training of the Ministry of Health and Dr. Anil Samaranayake, Deputy Director of the MRI.
The introductory lecture by SLALAS President Dr. Mayuri Thammitiyagodage, who is also in charge of the MRI’s Animal Centre, was on commonly practised in-vivo Toxicity Testing Methods and Possible Alternatives. The guest lecture on ‘Animal Tissue Culture as An Alternative Strategy’ was by Prof. Preethi Zoyza of the Department of Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
The assessment of cytotoxicity and its genotoxic aspects were broadly discussed by Dr. Prasanna Galhena of the Department of Bio-chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Ragama, while a lecture on ‘Alternatives for Skin Irritation Test (SIT)’, a video demonstration and practical session with mock demonstrations of the Epi Derm in-vitro SIT were held by Prof. Mangala Gunatilake of the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
Delivering the lecture on ‘The introduction to the zebra-fish egg model’, Dr. Sugandike Suresh of the Department of Bio-chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jayewardenepura, explained its embryology in this model which is very important to assessing toxicity testing. Dr. Prasadi de Silva of the University of Uva-Wellassa explained the use of the zebra fish egg model as an alternative to toxicity testing, with a very interactive practical session.
The hen egg chorio allontoic membrane technique as an alternative method to the Draize eye irritation test, with a practical session using 10- day hen eggs was conducted by Dr. Thammitiyagodage.
Commenting on the workshop, participant Dr. Nimsha Weerakkody, a Senior Lecturer at the Open University, Nawala, said it was very useful for scientists who are entering the field of toxicity testing to carry out research on novel anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents.
“Novel techniques were introduced to alternatives to animal testing at this workshop. All the lectures were very clear and the practical sessions on the zebra-fish egg model and hen egg chorio allontoic membrane methods were well demonstrated,” added Dr. Menaka Arawwawela of the Industrial Technology Institute.
Highlights of the workshop: