Reduction, refinement and replacement of animal experimentation

Starting with a seed grant from the NC3R, we are developing a combination of in vitro, in vivo imaging, and in silico technologies to reduce, refine, and partially replace animal experimentation. In the NC3R grant, targeting the pre-clinical assessment of bone drugs, we are using imaging to reduce the number of animals involved, and modelling to improve the usefulness by adding in details on bone strength, instead of indirect outcomes. We are also exploring where modelling can be used to partially replace some of the experimentation arms, and/or reduce the duration of the studies.

Combining tissue-engineering technologies to develop tissue-on-chip and organ-on-chip assays, with small animal in vivo imaging and sensing, and with advanced in silico modelling, we could tackle a number of 3R problems.

PIs: Prof Ilaria Bellantuono, Human Metabolism; Dr Enrico Dall’Ara, Human Metabolism; Prof Sheila Francis, Cardiovascular Science; Prof James Wild, Academic Radiology; Prof John Haycock, Material Science and Engineering.