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To address the pressing need for better in vitro testicular toxicity models, a workshop sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), the Health and Environmental Science Institute (HESI), and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), was held at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore, MD, USA on October 26-27, 2011. At this workshop, experts in testis physiology, toxicology, and tissue engineering discussed approaches for creating improved in vitro environments that would be more conducive to maintaining spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis and could provide more predictive models for testicular toxicity testing. This workshop report is intended to provide scientists with a broad overview of relevant testicular toxicity literature and to suggest opportunities where bioengineering principles and techniques could be used to build improved in vitro testicular models for safety evaluation. Tissue engineering techniques could, conceivably, be immediately implemented to improve existing models. However, it is likely that in vitro testis models that use single or multiple cell types will be needed to address such endpoints as accurate prediction of chemically induced testicular toxicity in humans, elucidation of mechanisms of toxicity, and identification of possible biomarkers of testicular toxicity.
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