Advanced in vitro exposure systems.

Characterization of a Vitrocell VC1 Using Nicotine Dosimetry: An Essential Component Toward Standardized In Vitro Aerosol Exposure of Tobacco and Next Generation Nicotine Delivery Products

28. Mar. 2018

DOI: 10.1089/aivt.2018.0001
Holger Behrsing,1 Mario Aragon,1 Jason Adamson,2 Devin Sheehan,1 Marianna Gaca,2 Rodger Curren,1 and Erin Hill1
1Respiratory Toxicology, Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland.
2R&D, British American Tobacco, Southampton, United Kingdom.

The study shows an assessment of VC1 aerosol generation that was conducted by measuring puff-by-puff in vitro nicotine concentration of 3R4F cigarettes (ISO and HCI regimes), e-cigarette (CRM81 puffing profile), and THP (HCIm regime). The aerosols were applied to in vitro or ex vivo cellular and tissue systems that model the respiratory tract, such as reconstructed human airways (RHuA), which are grown at the air–liquid interface (ALI). Additionally a comparison between the Vitrocell VC1 (U.S. Laboratory) and the VC10 (UK Laboratory) Smoking Robot was done.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has regulatory authority over tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes and next generation products (NGPs) such as e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products (THPs). There is a desire by the industry, regulator and animal, protection organizations to incorporate non-animal testmethods for tobacco product and NGP assessment.When assessing respiratory effects in vitro, reliable exposure systems that deliver aerosols to cellular/tissue cultures (such as human reconstructed airways or lung slices) at the air–liquid interface are needed. Using nicotine dosimetry, we report the characterization of a Vitrocell VC1 in our laboratories (IIVS, USA). Nicotine, generated from a 3R4F reference cigarette or NGP (e-cigarette and THP) aerosols at source and the exposure interface (culture media), was assessed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography– tandem mass spectrometry. These data were compared to published dosimetry data for the same products, generated at a different laboratory (BAT R&D, Southampton, UK), on different exposure systems (VC10 and Borgwaldt RM20S) to confirm repeatability. The nicotine content of 3R4F and NGP aerosols at VC1 source generation was established. Results demonstrated no statistical difference between laboratories (IIVS and BAT; p = 0.903) when comparing puff-by-puff nicotine concentrations from the three products. Culture media nicotine assessment demonstrated no significant difference between replicate wells in the exposure module ( p = 0.855), indicating uniform delivery. This study demonstrates successful Vitrocell VC1 aerosol generation and delivery across multiple nicotine product categories, as characterized using nicotine as a dosimetry marker. The data suggest the VC1 established in our laboratory can reproducibly generate and deliver tobacco product and NGP aerosols for future in vitro assessment and matches the performance of reported exposure systems.

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