Concept

Alternatives to animal testing

Summary
Alternatives to animal testing are the development and implementation of test methods that avoid the use of live animals. There is widespread agreement that a reduction in the number of animals used and the refinement of testing to reduce suffering should be important goals for the industries involved. Two major alternatives to in vivo animal testing are in vitro cell culture techniques and in silico computer simulation. However, some claim they are not true alternatives because simulations use data from prior animal experiments and cell cultures often require animal derived products, such as serum or cells. Others say that they cannot replace animals completely as they are unlikely to ever provide enough information about the complex interactions of living systems. Other alternatives include the use of humans for skin irritancy tests and donated human blood for pyrogenicity studies. Another alternative is so-called microdosing, in which the basic behaviour of drugs is assessed using
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