Innovation

We all want a safer world for humanity, animals and the environment: Transition Animal-free Innovation
Projects and initiatives
HealthInnovationPolicy

We all want a safer world for humanity, animals and the environment: Transition Animal-free Innovation

Why is the transition to animal-free research so important? What are animal-free models? How does TPI (Transition Animal-Free Innovation) encourage their development and use? And who are we working with to make this happen? We explain this in our animation. More and more animal-free tests and research methods are becoming available, but not all research questions or safety tests can be answered in this way yet. In addition, the validation, qualification and acceptance of non-animal innovations still lags behind. Therefore, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) stimulates the development and application of animal-free innovations. This is done with the partner programme Transition Animal-free Innovation (TPI).
02:4841 hours ago
VitalTissue: scientific research can be more human(e)
Projects and initiatives
HealthInnovationIn vitro

VitalTissue: scientific research can be more human(e)

The goal of VitalTissue is to facilitate the availability of vital human residual tissue for all researchers in the Netherlands. This video shows how VitalTissue works. From a request from a researcher, the donation of the residual tissue by the patient and the transport to the lab. This process is the result of a feasibility study conducted with many stakeholders. The national tissue bank ETB-BISLIFE will implement VitalTissue in practice.
04:216 months ago
Helpathon #9 – Can you help Juan?
Meeting videos
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Helpathon #9 – Can you help Juan?

Juan is an experienced immunologist and scientific director of the cutting edge O2Flow facility for cytometry and cell sorting at the Amsterdam VU University Medical Center. Can you help Juan explore if and how he can transition his facility towards animal free antibodies? Are you using antibodies in your research do you want others to help you find animal free alternatives for your specific research let us know. More information can be found [here] (https://www.helpathonhotel.org/coming-up).
02:027 months ago
Development of 3D liver spheroids
Innovation examples
HealthToxicologyInnovationIn vitro

Development of 3D liver spheroids

Human-based in vitro models are increasingly being used in the hepatology field. And in addition to the obvious ethical arguments, they offer several advantages over the classical animal models. One of them is the ability to perform mechanistic research at the molecular level in a well-controlled setting and reduce species differences. These liver-based in vitro models can range from simple monolayer cultures of hepatocytes to the liver-on-chips systems in which all liver cells are cultured in a 3D configuration on a microfluidic platform. Liver-based in vitro models must be selected on a case-by-case basis and should fit the purpose of the research, which might go from fundamental to translational research.
01:048 months ago
Platform for in vitro airborne inhalation testing
Innovation examples
HealthToxicologyInnovationIn vitro

Platform for in vitro airborne inhalation testing

The air-liquid interface (ALI) technique uses lung cells cultured on a tiny polymer membrane in a cup. On one side of the membrane is a liquid containing the medium necessary for the cells to survive, while the other side is in contact with air. This is similar to the situation in the human lung. The compound to be tested is administered via an aerosol, vapor, or gas to mimic the situation in human lungs. By monitoring different parameters in the cell model before and after the compound is added, it is possible to measure the effects on lung cells. Depending on the test to be carried out, the lung cells can come from different regions in the respiratory tract and even from a variety of people, including individuals who smoke a lot or have specific diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. In vitro ALI inhalation testing (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b00493) adds value for e.g. pre-clinical trials and research in the pharmaceutical industry and testing (new) compounds for the chemical sector and beyond. The advantages of ALI inhalation testing are that it is a non-animal method, it reduces the use of in vivo experiments, pre-clinical testing with human-derived cell models is more realistic and limits clinical trial failures and it provides faster and more efficient testing of compound
04:138 months ago
 Helpathon #8 – Can you help Margot?
Meeting videos
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Helpathon #8 – Can you help Margot?

Margot Beukers is the LymphChip program manager. Can you help Margot bring the field forward by sharing your experience with animal-free alternatives for Foetal Calf Serum and Matrigel? Click on the link in the video to sign up and read more information on this Helpathon on the website (https://www.helpathonhotel.org/coming-up).
01:0311 months ago
Helpathon #8 – Can you help Jasper?
Meeting videos
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Helpathon #8 – Can you help Jasper?

Jasper Koning is doing research on skin diseases. He believes it must be possible to find an alternative to Foetal Calf Serum to grow immune cells. Can you help him find alternatives to Foetal Calf Serum so he can build human models animal free? Jasper is especially looking for researchers with practical experience in applying alternatives. He did some trials himself with mixed results. Click on the link in the video to sign up and read more information on this Helpathon on the website (https://www.helpathonhotel.org/coming-up).
01:1611 months ago
Helpathon #8 – Can you help Germaine?
Meeting videos
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Helpathon #8 – Can you help Germaine?

Germaine Aalderink is investigating the uptake of lipids travelling from the gut into the lymphatic system and further explore the merits of this alternative drug intake strategy. Can you help Germaine make an intestinal and lymphatic model with an alternative for Matrigel that is animal-free? She wants to know what components are essential in each phase of intestinal development and is interested in both the positive and negative experiences of other researchers with the use of alternatives for Matrigel. Click on the link in the video to sign up and read more information on this Helpathon on the website (https://www.helpathonhotel.org/coming-up).
01:2111 months ago
Using skin and mucosa models to replace animal testing
Innovation examples
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Using skin and mucosa models to replace animal testing

The skin and mucosa are important tissues that differ between species in health and disease. The group of Sue Gibbs works on the development of advanced in vitro models that mimic these two tissues, specialising in immunity models and organ-on-a-chip technologies. They use skin models to study for example melanoma, skin allergies, eczema, burns and healing wounds. Dental models are used for the safety of materials used in dentistry, for example to test the quality of the implant and false tooth when it comes to attaching to the soft tissue. Their ambition is to expand into the field of multi-organ technology to make even more relevant models for the human skin and mucosa. Click on the link in the video to watch more or read the interview with Sue he[https://vu.nl/en/research/more-about/using-skin-and-mucosa-models-to-replace-animal-testing]re.
00:3011 months ago
Using data and computational modelling in biomedical research
Innovation examples
HealthInnovationData

Using data and computational modelling in biomedical research

Bioinformatics and systems biology hold great promise to translate the wealth of biological data into meaningful knowledge about human health and disease. The group of Bas Teusink helps biologists to deal with high throughput data, for example metabolomics (how cell metabolism works) and proteomics (how protein networks work) from patient material or cell cultures. This can help to better understand disease mechanisms and aid drug targeting or personalised medicine. In the future, combining data from different models (in vitro, in vivo and human data) could become a digital model of humans, or a “ digital twin”. Click on the link in the video to watch more or read the interview with Bas (and Jaap Heringa) he[https://vu.nl/en/research/more-about/using-data-and-computational-modelling-in-biomedical-research]re.
00:3011 months ago
Treating genetic heart disease using engineered heart tissue
Innovation examples
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Treating genetic heart disease using engineered heart tissue

Some heart disease are caused by a gene mutation in the cardiac muscle cells. People with this genetic disease are affected it between the ages of 20 and 40, and there is no preventative treatment for this. The group of Jolanda van der Velden works on the development of engineered heart tissue made from human stem cells to unravel disease mechanisms and test drugs to treat the disease. They use different kinds of stem-cell-based cultures. 2D cell cultures are useful to test a large number of candidate drugs, while patient-derived stem cells that are differentiated in heart cells can help to get detailed understanding of the disease and test the most promising treatments. Click on the link in the video to watch more or read the interview with Jolanda here (https://vu.nl/en/research/more-about/treating-genetic-heart-disease-using-engineered-heart-tissue).
00:3211 months ago
Using human organoid technology to treat viral infections in children
Innovation examples
HealthInnovationIn vitro

Using human organoid technology to treat viral infections in children

Viral infection in (very young) children can be detrimental to their neurological health. The mechanisms of some viruses work very differently in children compared with adults, which is not well understood yet. The research group of Dasja Pajkrt studies viral infections in children from the clinic by using human-derived organoids. They focus on three groups of viruses that can severely affect children: picornaviruses (responsible for illnesses like meningo-encephalitis and sepsis), cytomegalovirus (which can cause severe disabilities in children born with this virus) and HIV. The human-derived organoids or multi-organ systems allow for detailed mechanistic analysis of the disease and possible treatments that can be brought back to the clinic. Click on the link in the video to watch more or read the interview with Dasja here (https://vu.nl/en/research/more-about/using-human-organoid-technology-to-treat-viral-infections-in-children).
00:3211 months ago