Thursday 28 December 2023

3D device to end the need for drug and chemical safety testing on animals

The truth be told, it could be quite strongly argued that there has been little or no need for animal testing for some time because of effective alternatives but this latest development further hammers the nail in the coffin of animal testing and I hope those organisations who insist on animal testing read it. It truly is time that animal testing is stopped permanently worldwide.

Image of device: University of Edinburgh. Overall image: MikeB.

Putting aside the story about this 3D device, in the modern world, it is impossible to justify animal testing. I don't think humans have the right to be cruel to animals to benefit their health. It's the wrong approach to take. At its core, it is immoral. But, then again, I'm an animal advocate and a lot of people would disagree with me; those who are insensitive to animal rights and their sentience.

That's enough of my complaining. Scientists have developed a 3D-printed device. It replicates how drugs move through the body. It could end the need for animal testing when testing for drug and chemical safety.

Dr Adriana Tavares of the University’s Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CVS), said:
"This device shows really strong potential to reduce the large number of animals that are used worldwide for testing drugs and other compounds, particularly in the early stages, where only two per cent of compounds progress through the discovery pipeline."

The research took place at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. This is one of the world's leading universities and last year the top university in the UK.

It's described by The Times as a "pioneering body-on-chip device". It uses 3D replicas of the human heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidney.

These organs are connected by channels which mimic the human circulatory system. Through this system medicines can be pumped.

As I understand it, the device is made through printed chip compartments and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. This transmits radioactive compounds into the chips to send a signal to an extremely sensitive camera. It sounds very technical.

It is believed that the device will offer scientists a better and more effective way to study how drugs react in the human body and thereby preclude the need to animal test.

The inventor of the device, Liam Carr, told The Guardian newspaper that the PET imagery let medical staff check on the flow of drugs to ensure that it was even.

"This device is the first to be designed specifically for measuring drug distribution, with an even flow paired with organ compartments that are large enough to sample drug uptake for mathematical modelling."


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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