We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The JRC's European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is conducting a survey to collect scientific opinion on how to assess the relevance and fitness-for-purpose of complex in vitro models such as organ-on-chip devices to understand how to best facilitate their uptake and application in a variety of areas including biomedical research for drug development and toxicological testing for safety assessment.
Complex in vitro models such as 3D cell cultures, bioprinted tissues, bioreactor cultures or microphysiological systems (e.g. organ-on-chip devices) aim to represent higher-level anatomical and physiological aspects of human biology in practical experimental setups. Methods based on complex in vitro models have the potential to not only provide an attractive alternative to animal models but also offer the promise of advancing scientific methodologies underpinning research, development and testing in a variety of sectors.
As this new generation of models and methods matures therefore, it is important to facilitate their translation from research and development into useful application by considering the scientific and technical issues that influence end-user confidence and uptake.
The purpose of this survey is to get a better understanding of the current level of uptake and satisfaction regarding complex in vitro models, and the current thinking around how best to establish their validity for use in research and testing with a view to building end-user confidence. The survey seeks the opinion of all those interested in complex in vitro models and their potential applications irrespective of how familiar one may be with the subject area.
The findings of the survey will be made publicly available once the responses have been analysed. The intention is to combine the results with information gathered from other sources to eventually inform validation strategies and technology-transfer initiatives to expedite the uptake and use of complex in vitro models and methods in a variety of fields such as chemical risk assessment and biomedical research.
More than 500 participants from over 30 countries have already replied. The survey will remain open until Thursday 31st May 2018.