Cell-based assays for skin health ingredients


Technical service highlights

The NRC is developing a panel of cell-based assays useful for evaluating natural health products and purified compounds in diverse applications relevant to skin health. These assays support product development activities by providing key insight into lead ingredient identification, target validation and product efficacy and safety.

What we offer

We can provide partners with access to cell models that include primary human epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, as well as co-cultures of primary keratinocytes and fibroblasts and immortalized cell lines. Analysis can be done to assess complex mixtures and formulations, from crude extracts to purified compounds and essential oils to aromatics. Our technologies can support the development of effective natural health products, functional ingredients, cosmeceuticals and personal care products by providing innovative resources to evaluate for adverse effects, product efficacy, and delivery and uptake.

Specific areas of expertise

  • Irritation and corrosion
  • Phototoxicity, photosensitization, photoprotection
  • Cytokine and inflammatory response
  • Permeability
  • Wound healing and aging
  • Age-associated biomarker expression

Why work with us

We help partners and clients with the identification and chemical, physical and biological characterization of novel functional and bioactive ingredients. We can also produce natural ingredients and proteins by using our fermentation and cell culture systems.


We offer specialized services at competitive rates, which include the support of scientific and technical experts and full range of analytical capabilities. We also offer the opportunity for collaboration and/or for our partners to co-locate with us. Contact us to take advantage of our Canada-wide networking, research and development, as well as business development opportunities.

Contact us

We provide partners with access to models that include primary human epidermal keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, engineered 3D epidermal tissue and diverse immortalized cell lines. If you require these services, contact us:

Business Related Inquiries

James dePater
Telephone: 613-614-9547
Email: James.dePater@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Technical Related Inquiries

James Johnston
Telephone: 902-393-7344
Email: James.Johnston@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca