What are Alternatives to Animal Technologies?
Decades of successful research have advanced the discipline of in vitro toxicology (the effects of toxic chemical substances on cultured cells) into a far broader remit where not only 2D cell cultures are used, but 3D models, tissue on a chip, multiple tissues on a chip, bioprinting right through to computational predictions (in silico) now come together. Referred to as NAMs (New Approach Methods or previously known as Non Animal Methods), all these developments have been fostered with one goal: identifing hazards in the development of chemicals in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetics and consumer products, food industries, petroleum industries and many others. UKAAT strives to be the hub where all these (and more) technologies meet and through such interactions, can encourage cross-discipline research, collaboration and help unify the approaches developed into testing strategies that go beyond any specific industry sector.
UKAAT and animal use in toxicology?
There remains a need for the use of animals in toxicology research and for ensuring that new chemicals, drugs and other products can be made and used safely. This is a requirement of comprehensive national and international laws and regulations. The 3Rs (see NC3Rs) – Replacement, Refinement and Reduction – are a widely accepted ethical framework for conducting scientific experiments using animals humanely.
However, while recognising that this requirement for animals will remain for the foreseeable future, the UKAAT Society and its members are committed to the 3Rs and take every opportunity to reduce and refine the use of animals where this can be achieved, and to replace the need for animals altogether whenever this is possible. In particular, in vitro toxicologists have a commitment to the development of alternative methods.