We only use animals in research where there are no alternatives and try to limit the number of animals used in research, either through improving our experimental techniques or through the development of technologies or techniques that can replace the animals entirely. These are the principles of reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research (the ‘3Rs’), which underpin all related work carried out at the University.
Our researchers are actively researching alternatives that can be used in place of animals.
Several teams of researchers are developing ‘organelles’ that can be grow from stem cells. These are essentially like miniature organs, which enable the researchers to study how these organs – for example, the liver – grow and to test possible drug candidates.
- Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ used to repair human livers in regenerative medicine first
- The body in miniature
- Mini-livers show promise to reduce animal use in science
- Scientists grow ‘mini-lungs’ to aid the study of cystic fibrosis
Image: ‘Mini-bile ducts’ at day 25, stained with fluorescent dyes. Credit: Nature Biotechnology/University of Cambridge