PhD | Director Therapeutic Innovation and BaseLaunch
Tel. +41 61 295 50 17stephan. emmerth@baselarea. swiss
Basel – Researchers in Basel have won an award for their development of a 3D microtissue that has the potential to reduce the number of animal experiments used in biomedical research.
Researchers led by Olivier Frey developed the new cell culture method at the Department of Biosystems at ETH Zurich in Basel. As part of a EU research project called Body on a Chip, human tissue was reproduced on a chip for use in biomedical research. Using the 3D microtissue, scientists can easily test how compounds interact and their impact on organs such as the liver or heart. Thanks to this technology, the number of animal experiments can be reduced.
According to a statement, the Basel researchers have now been awarded the 3Rs Award. The award is conferred by the Organisation Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), which promotes the humane treatment of animals in science, in cooperation with the International Consortium for Innovation and Quality (IQ) in Pharmaceutical Development.
The 3Rs Award is named after the three Rs used to describe the more humane, ethical handling of laboratory animals: replacing animal testing with experiments that do not require animals (replacement), reducing the number of animals that are used in testing (reduction) and limiting the impact on the animals during testing (refinement).
In addition to reducing the number of animal experiments, the 3D microtissue also allows scientists to conduct more complex experiments. For example, by combining tumour and liver tissue in a single chip, scientists are able to test the efficacy of the drug and at the same time assess if the respective agent is toxic to the liver.