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Pioneering organ-on-a-chip companies like Emulate are helping scientists go animal free

Published on May 9, 2022

Our Science Manager, Dr Lilas Courtot last week attended the ‘London User Group Meeting’ at the Sheraton Grand London Hotel. Here’s her take on proceedings…

The one-day Emulate event was open those new to organ-on-a-chip (OoC) as well as the seasoned users of such technology.

Keynote speakers presented advances in the development of the technology in their laboratories and their associated discoveries.

Lorna Ewart, Chief Scientific Officer at Emulate, presented unpublished work about liver-on-a-chip to test drug toxicity. She said Emulate is on the verge of demonstrating the added value of this approach over animal testing – and is thus revolutionising the standard clinical trial protocol for drug development.

Emulate collaborates with and supports many organ-on-a-chip research platforms within research centres. Much progress has been made in the development of and training in organ-on-a-chip technology, especially The Centre for Predictive in vitro Models at Queen Mary University of London – where Animal Free Research UK also funds scientists –  and the Organ-on-Chips Centre at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France.

For early career, animal free scientists like me, the meeting was a great opportunity to learn more about what is being done with organs-on-a-chip, and to discuss how it can be improved to pave the way for more reliable and humane approaches in biomedical research and toxicology. And it was an ideal to network with peers.

It was also impressive to learn first-hand how quickly modern medical research is moving in this area – and how effective these systems are already, benefitting human health as a well as saving animals.

The outstanding speakers from across Europe further demonstrated the success of pioneering OoC companies like Emulate.

Animal Free Research UK hopes to work Emulate in the future so together we can help more and more scientists to go animal free and use cutting-edge, human-specific approaches to better understand, predict earlier and cure human diseases.

Dr Lilas Courtot



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