The goal of the life sciences field is to design and produce new reagents, technologies, and medical therapies to enhance, heal, and protect human life. In recent decades, there has also been a growing emphasis on moving away from animal-based studies in favor of methods using human cells. This was introduced through the three Rs principle, which calls for replacement, reduction, and refinement as core ethnical principles to help decrease the use of laboratory animals in scientific work. Regulatory agencies in both the United States and Europe have embraced this challenge.
Beyond government regulations, there are scientific factors driving the focus on human cells for research. Here are the top three reasons to move away from animal studies:
Animal studies do not always detect effects and outcomes specific to humans.
Scientific innovations are making it easier than ever to rely on all-human testing. Increasingly, primary human cells are becoming more available to support research applications. It is also easier to find human-based organ-on-a-chip platforms, as well as microphysiological systems representing several organ and tissue systems. LifeNet Health LifeSciences, for example, is working with partners to beta test a pioneering all-human hepatocyte triculture system that blends epithelial, stromal, and endothelial cells in a unique way that allows for essential cell-to-cell interactions. Our triculture system offers stable, reproducible results – experiment to experiment, user to user, and lab to lab.
Researchers in the life sciences field have many good reasons to consider replacing, reducing, and refining as we move toward safer, more effective screening methods using all-human solutions. Partnering with a forward-thinking organization such as LifeNet Health LifeSciences can make all the difference when it comes to forging new paths to create innovative medical solutions and therapies.