Cytotoxicity, mutagenicity and genotoxicity of electronic cigarettes emission aerosols compared to cigarette smoke: the REPLICA project

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Acknowledging CoEHAR in your work

If CoEHAR training and education, events, resources, equipment or staff have helped your project, we appreciate an acknowledgement in your papers, articles, presentations, posters, blog post with a citation and/ or link. It helps us to spread the word about our services and demonstrate our ongoing value to our Funders.

If you wish to cite CoEHAR in a research paper or presentation, use the following sample text:

We wish to thank the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR, University of Catania, Italy- COE01-05) for assisting our project with the resources provided.

Rosalia Emma, Virginia Fuochi, Alfio Distefano, Konstantinos Partsinevelos, Sonja Rust, Fahad Zadjali, Mohammed Al Tobi, Razan Zadjali, Zaina Alharthi, Roberta Pulvirenti, Pio Maria Furneri, Riccardo Polosa, Ang Sun, Massimo Caruso, Giovanni Li Volti & the Replica Project Group


Concerns have recently increased that the integrity of some scientific research is questionable due to the inability to reproduce the claimed results of some experiments and thereby confirm that the original researcher’s conclusions were justified. This phenomenon has been described as ‘reproducibility crisis’ and affects various fields from medicine to basic applied sciences. In this context, the REPLICA project aims to replicate previously conducted in vitro studies on the toxicity of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol, sometimes adding experiments or conditions where necessary, in order to verify the robustness and replicability of the data. In this work the REPLICA Team replicated biological and toxicological assessment published by Rudd and colleagues in 2020. As in the original paper, we performed Neutral Red Uptake (NRU) assay for the evaluation of cytotoxicity, Ames test for the evaluation of mutagenesis and In Vitro Micronuclei (IVMN) assay for the evaluation of genotoxicity on cells treated with cigarette smoke or e-cigarette aerosol. The results showed high cytotoxicity, mutagenicity and genotoxicity induced by cigarette smoke, but slight or no cytotoxic, mutagenic and genotoxic effects induced by the e-cigarette aerosol. Although the two studies presented some methodological differences, the findings supported those previously presented by Rudd and colleagues.