New drugs and substances must be tested for quality, efficacy and safety before they are approved. In drug research, animal testing is an important standard tool, but due to species-specific differences, it is not always useful for the approval of new substances or the implementation of new therapies in humans.
With the implementation of REACH, the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, non-animal risk assessment methods are the preferred choice for the investigation of new chemicals.
According to the 3R principle, animal experiments must be avoided completely wherever possible (Replace), the number of animals and animal experiments must be reduced (Reduce) where this is not possible yet, and the burdon on animals must be limited to an indispensable level by continuously optimizing the methods applied (Refinement).
Patented skin model as an alternative to animal testing
We have developed and established a patented three-dimensional human skin equivalent that represents the complex physiology of the skin, including the intact skin barrier.
Complex 3D reporter skin models for in vitro testing on living tissue
One focus of our work is the integration of components of the innate immune system or reporter cell lines. Special reporter genes make cell reactions visible by activating a cellular signaling cascade. In this way, our models can be used, for example, to determine the toxicity or allergenicity of cosmetics and chemicals quickly and precisely on a living model – without the need for time-consuming preparation of histological sections for microscopic examination.