It is general practice to use experimental animals for research on liver disease. In this type of research, usually mice are used that are fed to get overweight. Researchers then study the effects on the functioning of the mice’s liver. This research does not produce useful results to treat human liver disease. That is why Prof. Peter Olinga of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy has a different approach. He is developing a model in which he uses human liver slices on a chip. Like this he is able to simulate the activities, mechanics and physiological response of the human liver under controlled lab conditions. On the website of the ‘Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing’ Olinga explains his research (including video).
Together with ZonMW, the Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing recently awarded a grant for a research project of Olinga and his team called
Human ex vivo model to study nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its associated pathologies.
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