The irritant effect of cosmetics and medical products on the mucous membrane should be investigated thoroughly before being launched on the market. Since 1987, the controversial Draize test on rabbit eyes has been regarded as an official test according to the OECD guideline. A suitable alternative is the HET-CAM test on chicken eggs. The substance to be tested is applied to the CAM (chorioallantoic membrane) and the severity of lysis, coagulation and/or hemorrhage is assessed. As the blood vessel system is well developed during this developmental stage of the chicken embryo, and the nerve tissue is not yet developed, this test is recognized in Germany as the official pre-test for the Draize test. This ensures that only substances with a low to moderate irritant effect on the mucous membrane are tested on rabbits in the HET-CAM test. The HET-CAM test thus enables a practical examination of the mucosal compatibility of cosmetics, medical products and other chemicals as a suitable screening method.
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