Animal testing could be replaced by lab-grown cells

by Linn Dupont

stemcells_180Today is the official launch of the Centre for Nano Safety at Edinburgh’s Napier University. Scientists in Scotland are presenting their work on a way to use laboratory-grown cells as a future replacement for animal testing. The study is called InLiveTox and is a collaboration between the Scottish team and teams in Italy and Switzerland.

The emphasis of the study lies is to further investigate the effects of nanoparticles. Cells that are being created in the laboratory are extremely tiny substances that are thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a hair. Such substances are increasingly being used in drugs, electronics, tennis rackets, paint, car polish and sun screen.

Professor Vicki Stone leads the unit at Edinburgh’s Napier University. Stone explains that their role is to determine the baseline toxicity of certain particles in each cell type both individually and then in combination. If the project continues to succeed, it could mean that we have a very valuable substitute which could lead to a alternative to the use of animals in future tests.

“It’s all very new, but if we have high hopes on the InLiveTox mainly when it comes to replacing animal testing on dietary products, cosmetics and medicine. The success of such a project could be a huge step for mankind”, says Stone.

Stone’s teams  goal is to generate systems of different cells working together before they are combined for further tests by European laboratories.

Laboratory-grown cells