Why should we replace animals in research and testing?
- moral/ethical concerns
- public demand
- scientific reasons - improved methods for research and testing
- faster and less expensive way to get more information about a substance or compound
- legislation - animal use not permitted when there are alternatives available
What is validation?
The proof that a method is relevant and reliable for its purpose
What are limitations of in vitro tests?
- cells change when removed from the body
- difficult to assess/evaluate general/systemic toxic effects and pharmacokinetics
- difficult to extrapolate in vivo dose-response
- no (or limited) interaction between tissues and organs
- specific organ sensitivity needs to be adressed one at a time
- chronic effects are difficult to assess
- one animal test may need to be replaced by a battery of tests and or intelligent testing strategies
What are the advantages of in vitro testing?
- controlled testing conditions
- lack of systemic effects
- reduction of variablitiy between experiments
- fast and inexpensive
- small amount of test material is required
- limited amount of toxic waste is produced
- human cells and tissues can be used
Name areas where QSARs are being applied
- risk assessment
- toxicity prediciton
- regulatory decisions
- drug discovery and lead optimisation
Which areas are successful and promising for the use of alternatives
- biological production
- toxicology and risk/safety assessments
Which areas are challenging areas for the use of alternative methods?
- fundamental and medical research
- long term effects
- systemic effects
What is needed to replace animals in medical research?