Alternatives to animal experimentation

The in vitro core toxicology unit is studying placental transportation of substances and materials in a laboratory model with fresh placentas from births at the Rigshospitalet (RH).

A variety of chemicals, such as pesticides, substances formed during food preparation, biological therapeutics, naturally occurring large biomolecules, as well as nanoparticles are studied in the system.

In collaboration with clinicians and pathologists from the RH, the in vitro core unit is elaborating the model and also participating in international validation programs of alternatives to animal experimentation. The vision is, in collaboration with other in vitro toxicology researchers, to create a battery of toxicology tests to minimize the use of experimental animals, which is an action point in the research strategy of the EU.

As the research activities of the in vitro core unit involve blood and tissue from participants, ethical issues related to recruitment, feedback and data protection are a main concern, and the core unit is engaged in several international projects on the subject.