Taking prescription drugs during pregnancy can be harmful to the unborn child. Therefore, identifying the embryotoxic potential of a new drug candidate is an essential part of any preclinical study. These studies are currently conducted in animals according to OECD guidelines.
In Europe, 11 Million animals are tested annually. About 50 percent of these tests are performed to explore the bone harming and thus the embryotoxic potential of such drug candidates. Dr. Nicole zur Nieden, leader of the stem cell group at the Fraunhofer Institute, is developing a method to identify the bone harming potential in vitro.
This shall be enabled by simulating and monitoring the multi-phase differentiation process of pluripotent stem cells in a controlled bioreactor system. By adding compounds with known in vivo osteotoxic potential, adverse effects on the differentiation will be identified. Non human embryonic primate stem cells will be compared to human progenitor cells to study varying molecular reactions compared to the established test organisms (mice).
DASGIP, leading manufacturer of parallel bioreactor systems, will contribute its bioreactor system to the project. Through further improvements Dr. Matthias Arnold, CSO DASGIP, and the scientists at the Fraunhofer IZI plan to establish and automate a multi-step cultivation process covering the different phases of differentiating stem cells in drug testing.
The German government subsidizes the research project, acting on behalf of international organizations such as OECD and the EU. Since 1986 the EU commission has stressed its interest in new methods to minimize, replace or optimize animal testing. Recently, the demand to accelerate these processes has been increasing due to the EU Cosmetics and Chemicals Legislation and the desire to avoid complications associated with drug development. To date, only the embryonic stem cell test (EST) could prove as reliable ex vivo alternative to animal testing, which builds the basis for the planned improvements. The EU commission will publish its new ideas on how to reduce the need for animal testing and how to promote alternative methods sometime in April.
Not only politicians, but also industry representatives strongly appreciate the development of alternative methods as it can make drug development and approval faster and more cost-effective: In contrast to existing processes the stem cell approach promoted by Fraunhofer IZI is characterized by a high predictability for human effects, by cost-efficiency and by short testing periods. Therefore, Thomas Drescher, President of DASGIP, looks forward to providing the industry with a bioreactor system, which could help replacing up to 50 percent of the animal tests required in bone toxicity test for drugs, chemicals, plant protecting agents and cosmetics.
Further project partners are the ZEBET - Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiments - at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (http://www.bfr.bund.de/cd/1591) and the contract research organization RCC Ltd. (www.rccltd.ch).
Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy