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Alternatives To Animal Testing

By Dual-Shave | April 01, 2019 | News, Animal Cruelty-Free

For centuries, animals have been tapped to face dangers that humans cannot tolerate. Non-human animals have been cruelly subjected to the testing of chemical concoctions from pesticides to makeup, and these tests have always been excruciating for the lab subjects. In the past few decades, scientists have finally come to the realization that trials run on animal bodies do not give results transferable to those of humans. That awareness, coupled with greater compassion for non-human creatures, has generated a demand for cruelty-free testing. Here are a few ways that scientists have made experimentation safer for non-human animals not using them at all.

 

Living Skin Models

Biotechnology and chemical engineering company MatTek Corporation has created a model of human skin that reacts like the real thing– because it is. EpiDerm™ is a 3D model made from living cells; it’s used to check skin reactions to corrosive materials and to test for allergy sensitivities.

 

Organs-on-chips

Trials with this technology are performed in vitro (like in a test tube or Petri dish) and involve a thin, clear plastic created with tiny channels of living tissue. Invented by researchers at the Wyss Institute of Harvard University, these Organ Chips are designed to mimic the make-up of skin, cells, organs, and other parts of the human body in order to get accurate readings of how a real human being’s tissue would react to a substance.

 

Donated Bodies and Tissue

Who hasn’t heard someone say they planned to have their body donated “to science” after their death? It’s a real option. Even the donation of separate parts, such as eyes, organs, or skin is helpful for scientific trials since newer technology has allowed for better storage of the body’s varied tissues.

 

Computer Modeling

This is similar to the Organs Chips, only the process is entirely digital. Computer models simulate real tissues and organs allowing many scenarios and tests to be run in a short amount of time– and with no waste.

 

Human Patient Simulators

These are extremely life-like “manikins” (dolls) that use state-of-the-art computer software to mimic a real-life patient. These models breathe, bleed, and react like an actual human being. With their realistic responses, they’re extremely useful for both medical training and in traditional lab testing– eliminating the need to vivisect animals.


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