The 11th World Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing concluded last week, under the theme of 3Rs in Transition: From development to application.
Amongst the topics discussed were advances in organoid and organ-on-a-chip technology in infectious disease, neuroscience and cardiovascular systems.
Dr Adithya Sridhar, of Amsterdam University Medical Centres, shared work on how organoid models can be developed for studying viruses for which there is currently no suitable animal model, as part of a European collaboration on virus research called GutVibrations.
Dr Blake Anson, of Stemonix, USA, presented its 3D neural organoid model and how it is being used for early screening of drug candidates to ‘direct experiments and reduce the number of animals needed in drug discovery, but not replace them completely’.
In the same session, Tatsuya Shimizu, of Tokyo Women's Medical University, discussed work on an organoid model of the heart, containing beating heart cells which can be used to study how the cells react to different forces.
EARA member Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Netherlands, also shared its work using organ-on-a-chip technology to find the correct conditions for studying one cell type in the brain, in response to problems that arose when comparing in vitro and in vivo methods.