P.R.I.T. Professional In-Vitro Technologies

Joint solution by Fraunhofer Institutes ITEM and SCAI

Airborne substances constantly surround us in our daily life: during leisure time, at the workplace, out in nature, and also at home. Our contact with these substances occurs primarily via the skin and the airways. With up to 2 m² (skin) and up to 100 m² (lung), these organs provide huge surfaces where such contact can take place.

Contact of the skin’s surface or the inner surface of the lung with airborne substances can be intentional, for example to achieve a pharmacological effect. Administration of a drug such as an asthma inhaler or a nasal spray is an example of this. The intention can also be a cosmetic effect, for example when applying fragrances, antiperspirants, skin care products, or sunscreen sprays.

If contact is unwanted, the reason why is often that a toxicological effect is expected. This can hold true for substances in the ambient air (exhaust gas, pollen, cigarette smoke …), at workplaces (printer emissions, welding fumes, manufacturing processes …), but also in private homes (emissions from carpets or furniture, painting and grinding during home renovation etc.).

Understanding the biological effects of all these substances is important, so as to protect our health and avoid or mitigate hazards by taking appropriate measures. Just like chemicals, which require toxicological characterization before they can be marketed in Europe, it is important to comprehensively investigate these substances as well.
Until recently, tests for this purpose had to be performed above all in experimental animals.The P.R.I.T.® technology now provides a meaningful, alternative in-vitro test method based on cell cultures for toxicological testing of airborne substances from a large variety of sources.



April 2024: Publications for 2023 added

November 2023: Coming soon project "NanoINHAL"



Application Area

The cell-based test methods can be used with a large diversity of test substances, including chemical gases, volatile substances, pharmaceutical sprays, exhaust gases, fumes and many others.


The innovative and patented P.R.I.T.® technologies enable the use of cell cultures and tissues as air-lifted interface for testing (cellular alterations) of inhalable substances from the most different sources under appropriate conditions according to the...


current state of scientific knowledge.


For the performance of tests and customization of the method to fit your specific problems, a competent team from Fraunhofer ITEM and SCAI with many years of experience is available. We can offer you a broad spectrum of in-vitro specific...




P.R.I.T.® technologies have already been used successfully to explore a broad range of different problems. We will be happy to provide you with details from projects that do not fall under confidentiality agreements.


We offer a comprehensive portfolio of methods and expertise for the design, development, and performance of any investigations in the context of biological effects of airborne substances in vitro.