Predicting Ocular Irritation of Surfactants Using the Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Assay

January 1, 2014

The Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) assay is an ex vivo test used to evaluate ocular irritation. According to the OECD Test Guideline (TG) 437, the BCOP assay can be used to identify chemicals which induce severe/corrosive eye irritation and those that do not require classification. However, BCOP has historically under-predicted certain anionic surfactants, when tested according to the standard liquid protocol. Since neither the basis for selecting the appropriate surfactant test methods, nor the justification for modifications are clearly presented in TG 437 or GD No. 160, we present on the testing of a few common surfactant ingredients, including sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), Triton X-100, and benzalkonium chloride, and surfactant based formulations in the BCOP assay using standard and modified dilutions and exposures to elucidate the impact of these variables on eye irritation prediction.