EggCentris Reproductive Function Testing
EggCentris, a centre of excellence with profound expertise and knowledge in reproduction and fertility, has developed unique in vitro technology for fast and early-stage determination of toxicity to the reproductive function.
As a contract research laboratory, EggCentris offers question-directed project research and innovative in vitro screening for effects on female and male fertility and embryo toxicity. We also develop customised testing models to meet our customers’ specific requirements.
Reproductive hazard identification
We assist the chemical industry with a tiered screening approach for the hazard identification needed for the risk assessment of their products to comply with the REACH legislation. The pharmaceutical industry can rely on us for speeding up screening and lead selection in drug discovery. By revealing the mechanism of action of their drug in development we can help to circumvent toxic insults to the reproductive system. The cosmetic industry can meet the requirements of directive 76/768/EEC using our in vitro bioassays as we embrace the guidance for reducing, refining and replacing animal use for reproductive toxicity testing.
EggCentris’ battery of innovative multi-parametric in vitro tests is based on state-of-the-art scientific research. Only minute amounts of test compound are needed to define the NOAEL at the target level and to pinpoint the exact target systems with elucidation of the mode of action.
Follicle bioassay for female fertility testing
Effects on female fertility can be assessed by our in vitro battery (FBA/IVF/MEA) or by defined in vivo protocols (e.g. superovulation / steroid determination / vaginal smears / embryo transfer). Our follicle bioassay (FBA), a 3D multi-parametric culture system representing the physiological ovarian function in vitro, allows cycle disturbances (impaired follicle development or altered steroid hormone output), capacity for conception (assessment of the oocyte quality) and uterine receptivity (estrogen / progesterone profiles) to be predicted. Oocyte and embryo developmental capacity (pregnancy) can be defined by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) followed by embryo culture (MEA) techniques.
Endocrine disruptor screening
EggCentris’ propriety FBA is based on the in vitro development of intact ovarian follicles. During the 12-day growth and differentiation period they timely and locally express the steroid receptors (e.g. ER, AR, PR, etc.) and the P450 enzymes of the steroid pathway, making the FBA an ideal tool for screening potential endocrine disruptors in a physiological environment.
Bioassays for male fertility testing
For male fertility we have bioassays available to assess the viability and functionality of the testicular cells (Leydig and Sertoli cells) and to study the impact of compounds on the viability and motility of the (treated) sperm (SMA).
Embryo toxic compound screening
Embryonic development is a very dynamic event characterised by a high proliferation rate and with complex cellular differentiation regulation. The differentiation processes are driven and characterised by highly dynamic and timely molecular events, which explain the window-defined and concentration-dependent compound vulnerability of the embryo.
Screening for embryo toxic compounds can be achieved by EggCentris’ mouse peri-implantation assay (MEPA), which follows all pre-implantation and early implantation stages of the developing embryo in vitro. For predicting post-implantation toxicity EggCentris can offer an optimised embryonic stem cell test (EST).
Biological testing of ART devices
EggCentris is also an expert provider of biological testing (MEA, IVF, SMA, LAL) for quality control of culture and support media, labware and medical devices used for assisted reproductive techniques (ART) in fertility clinics. In our ARTscreening division, we advise and support IVF-suppliers in selecting the most appropriate test assay and designing item-specific exposure protocols that mimic real clinical use to ensure their products are gamete and embryo safe.
As the centre of excellence in the reproductive function we offer our expert knowledge and provide innovative testing approaches on a fee-for-service basis.
We aim for an all-inclusive service quality. Besides the guaranteed quality of our data, generated by the highest scientific standards, we also value the quality of our services; we are flexible, we deliver on time and we accommodate the needs of our customers in a friendly and supportive manner. Our quality assurance system is our guide for constant improvement of our services.