Publications : 2020

Choksi N, Lebrun S, Nguyen M, Daniel A, DeGeorge G, Willoughby J, et al. 2020. Validation of the OptiSafe Eye Irritation Test. Cutan Ocul Toxicol 39:180–192, DOI: 10.1080/15569527.2020.1787431



OptiSafe is an in chemico test method that identifies potential eye irritants based on macromolecular damage following test chemical exposure. The OptiSafe protocol includes a pre-screen assessment that identifies test chemicals that are outside the applicability domain of the test method and thus determines the optimal procedure. We assessed the usefulness and limitations of the OptiSafe test method for identifying chemicals not requiring classification for ocular irritation (i.e., bottom-up testing strategy).

Materials and Methods:

Seventeen chemicals were selected by the lead laboratory and tested as an independent study. Ninety-five unique coded chemicals were selected by a validation management team to assess the intra- and inter-laboratory reproducibility and accuracy of OptiSafe in a multi-laboratory, three-phased validation study. Three laboratories (lead laboratory and two naive laboratories) evaluated 35 chemicals, with the remaining 60 chemicals evaluated by the lead laboratory only. Test method performance was assessed by comparing classifications based on OptiSafe results to classifications based on available retrospective in vivo data, using both the EPA and GHS eye irritation hazard classification systems. No prospective in vivo testing was conducted.


Phase I testing of five chemicals showed that the method could be transferred to naive laboratories; within-lab reproducibility ranged from 93% to 100% for both classification systems. Thirty coded chemicals were evaluated in Phase II of the validation study to demonstrate both intra- and inter-laboratory reproducibility. Intralaboratory reproducibility for both EPA and GHS classification systems for Phase II of the validation study ranged from 93% to 99%, while interlaboratory reproducibility was 91% for both systems. Test method accuracy for the EPA and GHS classification systems based on results from individual laboratories ranged from 82% to 88% and from 78% to 88%, respectively, among the three laboratories; false negative rates ranged from 0% to 7% (EPA) and 0% to 15% (GHS). When results across all three laboratories were combined based on the majority classification, test method accuracy and false negative rates were 89% and 0%, respectively, for both classification systems, while false positive rates were 25% and 23% for the EPA and GHS classification systems, respectively. Validation study Phase III evaluation of an additional 60 chemicals by the lead laboratory provided a comprehensive assessment of test method accuracy and defined the applicability domain of the method. Based on chemicals tested in Phases II and III by the lead laboratory, test method accuracy was 83% and 79% for the EPA and GHS classification systems, respectively; false negative rates were 4% (EPA) and 0% (GHS); and false positive rates were 40% (EPA) and 42% (GHS). Potential causes of false positives in certain chemical (e.g., ethers and alcohols) or hazard classes are being further investigated.


The OptiSafe test method is useful for identifying non-surfactant substances not requiring classification for ocular irritancy. OptiSafe represents a new tool for the in vitro assessment of ocular toxicity in a tiered-testing strategy where chemicals can be initially tested and identified as not requiring hazard classification.