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ONTOX Hackathon: Hack To Save Lives And Avoid Animal Suffering
Meeting videos
HelpathonsHealthToxicologyData

ONTOX Hackathon: Hack To Save Lives And Avoid Animal Suffering

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in toxicology – a potential driver for reducing or replacing laboratory animals in the future. ONTOX project is looking for solutions and innovative ideas to move forward. Are you going to help ONTOX to hack into these complex challenges? The hackathon will be held from 21 to 23 April 2024 in Utrecht Science Park. The whole event is open to a diverse community of forward-thinkers and problem-solvers interested in the intersection of AI and ethical toxicology. The goal is to bring together passionate individuals who seek innovative solutions to critical challenges in toxicology. Read more about the hackathon and register here (https://ontox-project.eu/hackathon/).
01:0428 days ago
Charlotte Blattner (Harvard Law School)
Expert interviews
Policy

Charlotte Blattner (Harvard Law School)

Charlotte Blattner (Harvard Law School, Animal Law & Policy Program)
01:064 years ago
Elly Hol (UMC Utrecht): possibilities for neuroscience
Expert interviews
HealthInnovation

Elly Hol (UMC Utrecht): possibilities for neuroscience

Prof. dr. Elly Hol (neuroscientist) talks about the opportunities for conducting animal-free research in Utrecht. She explains why it is necessary to use animal models next to cell-based models, for example for her Alzheimer research.
00:593 years ago
Transition beyond animal welfare
Expert interviews

Transition beyond animal welfare

This video explains what the programme TPI (Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of animals) is about.
02:3918 months ago
Stem cell differentiation assays for animal-free developmental neurotoxicity assessment
Innovation examples
ToxicologyInnovationIn vitro

Stem cell differentiation assays for animal-free developmental neurotoxicity assessment

Victoria de Leeuw was a PhD candidate in the research group of prof. dr. Aldert Piersma at the RIVM and Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at Utrecht University. Piersma's lab studies the effects of compounds on development of the embryo during pregnancy with, among other techniques, stem cell cultures. The project of Victoria was aimed to differentiate embryonic stem cells of mouse and human origin into neuronal and glial cells, which could mimic parts of differentiation as seen during embryonic brain development. These models were able to show some of the known toxic mechanisms induced by these compounds, congruent with what they we hypothesised to mimic. This provides mechanistic information into how chemical compounds can be toxic to brain development. Therefore, these two stem cell assays make a useful contribution to the animal-free assessment of developmental neurotoxicity potential of compounds. Victoria is nominated for the Hugo van Poelgeest prize 2022 for excellent research to replace animal testing.
00:4316 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
Erwin Roggen (ToxGenSolutions)
Expert interviews
ToxicologyIn vitro

Erwin Roggen (ToxGenSolutions)

ToxGenSolutions provides a cutting-edge patchwork of test methods required for modern testing and assessment of compounds and products. It builds on a virtual generic platform of leading test and technology developers providing novel technologies addressing key events in outcome pathways. ToxGenSolutions products are proprietary mechanism-based gene signatures for identification and classification of toxicants during screening, product development and safety assessment. More information on https://toxgensolutions.eu/ .
01:074 years ago
Cartilage-on-a-chip for studying joint degenerative diseases
Innovation examples
ToxicologyInnovationIn vitro

Cartilage-on-a-chip for studying joint degenerative diseases

Carlo Alberto Paggi is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Twente in the research group of Prof. Marcel Karperien and Prof. Séverine Le Gac. Karperien’s lab focus on the biological aspects of osteoarthritic research while Le Gac’s specialize in organ-on-chip development. The project of Carlo Alberto is developing a joint-on-chip platform to create a reliable in vitro model to study disease progression in osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis. The model combines different organ-on-chips aimed at replicating each a tissue around the joint such as cartilage, bone and ligaments. This new technology focuses on better reproducing human models and at substituting the use of animal models for drug research. If you want to know something more about the project and the groups, you can follow the link in the video. Carlo Paggi was nominated for the Hugo van Poelgeest prize for his research on a cartilage-on-a-chip model to study joint degenerative diseases Karperien’s lab of Developmental Bioengineering: https://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/dbe/ Le Gac’s lab of Applied Microfluidics for BioEngineering Research: http://www.severinelegac.com/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlo-alberto-paggi-76500b135/
01:582 years ago
Liquid marbles: a cost-effective platform to generate cardiospheres from co-cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblast for disease modelling
Conferences abstracts

Liquid marbles: a cost-effective platform to generate cardiospheres from co-cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblast for disease modelling

Advances in three-dimensional (3D) culture techniques have shown several advantages over 2D cultures, especially by more accurately mimicking the in vivo environment. This has led to improved reproducibility and reliability of experimental results, which are important criteria in disease modelling and toxicity testing. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) provide an unlimited source for the derivation of all cell types of the adult body, including cardiomyocytes. To improve the current culture methods for multicellular cardiac spheroids, such as the hanging drop method, we explored the use of hydrophobic powders. Fumed silica nanoparticles can be used to encapsulate liquid drops, which could serve as a microenvironment for cell cultures. This microbioreactor stimulates cell coalescence and 3D aggregation while providing optimal gas exchange between the interior and the surrounding environment. Moreover, the properties of liquid marble microbioreactors render them ideal for co-culture experiments. This liquid marble technique has been previously explored and optimized for other cell types. Here we describe a protocol that allows for the derivation of functional cardiac mini organoids, consisting of co-cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts. These cardiospheres can be valuable for modelling cardiac diseases in vitro and assessing cell interactions to decipher disease mechanisms. Lab website: https://www.medicalcellbiologylab.com/ Contact: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jeffrey-Aalders RE-place database: https://www.re-place.be/method/liquid-marbles-cost-effective-platform-generate-cardiospheres-co-cultured-cardiomyocytes-and
02:552 years 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 #10 – Can you help Jolanda and Elza?
Meeting videos
HelpathonsEducation

Helpathon #10 – Can you help Jolanda and Elza?

Jolanda van der Velden, Chair of Physiology, and Elza van Deel, Educator, from Amsterdam University Medical Center want to support PhDs in preparing for the animal-free transition. They are both looking for an implementation strategy and course design. Do you have an interest in animal-free education and education about animal-free research? Read more and register here (https://www.helpathonhotel.org/coming-up).
00:5528 days ago
Katja Wolthers (Amsterdam UMC) - virus research in human models: let's show some guts!
Innovation examples
HealthInnovation

Katja Wolthers (Amsterdam UMC) - virus research in human models: let's show some guts!

To study viruses that make people sick, we often use laboratory animals. However, virus infections in animals are different than in humans. New 3D culture models or 'organoids', which look like human organs in a petri dish, offer a unique opportunity to investigate how viruses enter the human body and cause disease. Our research focuses on enteroviruses such as polio. Due to vaccination, polio is rare, but other enteroviruses are increasingly a threat to young children and patients with impaired immune defenses. There are no medications available, because knowledge about infections with enteroviruses is limited. In our research we use organoids to see how enteroviruses enter the human body and by which means you can prevent that, without the use of laboratory animals. With this project we want to show that our technique can replace the use of laboratory animals in virus research.
02:313 years ago