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Replacing Live Animal Testing with 3D-printing Technology

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3D-printing is an emerging revolutionary technology that could completely change the current approach to design and manufacturing, with profound geopolitical, economic, social, demographic, environmental, and security implications. 3D-printing technology is not only altering human life but is also significantly impacting the lives of animals. On today’s program, we happily share some of these great technological advances with our noble viewers. We’ll start off with a group of English scientists who have figured out a way to 3D-print cells grown in a laboratory to create living structures. This approach could revolutionize regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that could potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body. “We were aiming to fabricate three-dimensional living tissues that could display the basic behaviors and physiology found in natural organisms.” In the United States, Harvard University researchers have also developed 3D-printed organs as an alternative to animal experimentation, having successfully made the first 3D- printed organs-on-chips. This new technology should help to reduce the rate of drug testing on animals by pharmaceutical companies and academic labs, as the organs-on-chips provide a groundbreaking substitute for traditional ways of testing. Supporting the use of technology to replace animal testing, Dr. Warren Casey, director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods, which studies alternatives to animal use in chemical-safety testing, says, “In theory, non-animal tests could be much cheaper and much faster.” Testing on these simplified, miniaturized versions of our physiology could deliver more human-relevant results than animal experiments.
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