Navigation Links
A lab rat -- created in the lab
Date:4/13/2010

It's illegal for health products with medical formulations to be accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration without tests on animals ― a situation that has serious ethical and moral implications. New research in the field of tissue engineering by Prof. Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Engineering holds a promise that far fewer lab animals will be needed for the necessary experimental trials.

Dr. Gefen's research into fat cells, published in a recent issue of Tissue Engineering, has led him to conclude that the necessary tissue can be produced from fat, skin, bone and muscle cells. His breakthrough study could have hundreds of applications in the pharmaceutical and medical world.

"Drugs make our lives better, and basic science is needed to push new drugs through clinical trials. But there is no doubt that an untold number of animals are sacrificed in the laboratory setting both in basic research and in applied conditions when testing particular molecules," says Prof. Gefen, who heads TAU's Teaching Laboratory for Cell and Tissue Engineering. As a medical researcher himself, he was dependent on animal trials for testing new hypotheses he developed for living systems ― until recently.

A more efficient road to scientific research

Bridging the worlds of biology and engineering, Prof. Gefen is now using adult rat stem cells ― cells that can be stimulated to create skin, bone, fat and muscle tissue from an animal in a laboratory setting. In his own work on studying the mechanical properties of pressure ulcers, many tissue replications were needed. His new approach no longer requires the sacrifice of large numbers of animals. When an experiment is over, not one animal life has been lost.

The use of engineered tissues, says Prof. Gefen, may also be more scientifically efficient than using those from a living source. "The model we've created offers a very reliable method for researchers asking questions about basic science, and those investigating new drugs. We can injure tissue in a very controlled environment and grow muscle tissue without blood vessels, thereby neutralizing certain variables that often cloud what's happening in an experiment."

Saving lives and improving research at the same time

Though Prof. Gefen's method may not completely eliminate the need for animal testing, as few as 5% of the animals used today will need to be sacrificed in future tests, he predicts.

"It's a matter of proportion. Our tools spare an enormous number of lives," Prof. Gefen says. He is currently bringing together a number of discrete research directions from the separate fields of mechanics, tissue engineering and biology. He is also developing a new tool for researchers to investigate fat accumulation in cells (an important question for diabetes researchers) and weight loss drugs. Among his devices is one that can tell doctors how much mechanical stress is being placed on a person's foot, buttocks or other soft tissues. Another measures how much sensation is left in a diabetic limb. For all these approaches, Prof. Gefen has adopted tissue engineering methods to use fewer animals in his trials.

"We are now able to build a number of 'simplified' living tissues quite readily, and we're able to keep them 'alive,'" Prof. Gefen says. "They're genetically similar to the biological tissue of the animal, so we can factor out irrelevant physiological elements such as bleeding and pain response in an experiment. The fact that this tissue is genetically identical and the environmental factors are so well-controlled means that we can obtain far more experimental reproducibility than with experiments done on live animals."

In the future, Prof. Gefen hopes that similar models can be based on live human tissue, but that could be a number of years down the road.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding created by UMMS researchers
2. Alzheimers rat created for human research
3. New period of brain plasticity created with transplanted embryonic cells
4. MSU scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created cool method
5. 3-D kidney atlas created for researchers and physicians
6. Most extensive genetic resource for reef-building coral created
7. Nanodrop test tubes created with a flip of a switch
8. Needle-size device created to track tumors, radiation dose
9. Worlds largest marine protected area created in Pacific Ocean
10. Natural insecticide re-created in the lab
11. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A lab rat -- created in the lab
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to ... The ... a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach ... analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... -- CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... denaturation in a cellular milieu; however, the broad application of this cellular target ... platforms with sensitive quantitative readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays are valuable methods for ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the ... Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects from around the ... Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... ... The AMA is happy to announce that $48,000 in scholarships will be awarded ... created through funds donated by model aviation organizations and individuals, AMA members, and a ... Committee, which is made up of model aviation pilots and enthusiasts. The committee evaluates ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... As part of the ... patient cases when screening for direct oral anticoagulant. When patients taking direct oral ... bridging parental anticoagulation especially for those at high risk of thrombosis recurrence. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: