There’s some great news regarding laboratory animals. A new animal-free alternative is being developed, one that not only spares animals’ lives and suffering, but also saves money and time! Take a look at the article:
Harvard bioengineers have been awarded more than $3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop a “Heart-Lung Micromachine” that will accelerate drug safety and efficacy testing. [...]
The Heart-Lung Micromachine will be based on novel technology that combines microfabrication techniques from the computer industry with modern tissue engineering techniques, human cells, and a vacuum pump to replicate the complex physiological functions and mechanical microenvironment of a breathing lung and beating heart.
These capabilities will enable the microdevice to provide accurate and immediate measures of the efficacy and safety of inhaled drugs, nanotherapeutics, and other medical products on integrated lung and heart function, all at a fraction of the time and cost involved in traditional animal testing methods. Such methods can take years to complete and often cost as much as $2 million for a single drug compound.