Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Cell Culture
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Artificial Liver Cells Win their Creator Prize for their Potential to Reduce Animal Experiments

Published: Friday, March 02, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, March 02, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Cambridge researchers recognised with a national prize by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Producing liver cells that demonstrate inherited liver diseases from human skin cells has earned Dr Ludovic Vallier from the University of Cambridge a major prize from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). These cells, known as human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs), have already attracted attention for the possibilities they offer to regenerate damaged tissues and organs. But it is their potential to reduce the number of animals used for screening potential drug treatments that led to Dr Vallier receiving the Centre’s 3Rs prize for 2011.

The prize, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, of a £2,000 personal award and a £18,000 research grant, is for the scientific paper published in the last three years that contributes most to the advancement of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). Dr Vallier’s winning paper was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2010. He received his prize from Professor Paul Matthews OBE of GlaxoSmithKline at the NC3Rs Annual Science Review Meeting in London on 28 February.

Human liver cells (hepatocytes) cannot be grown in the laboratory and differences between rodents and humans mean that it is rarely possible to recreate the human disease completely in mice or rats or to use cultures of rat or mouse liver cells. Dr Vallier’s team took skin cells (dermal fibroblasts) from seven patients with a variety of inherited liver diseases and three healthy individuals (the controls). They then reprogrammed cells from the skin samples back into stem cells. These stem cells were then used to generate liver cells which mimicked a broad range of liver diseases – and to create ‘healthy’ liver cells from the control group.

These hIPSC-generated liver cells can provide in vitro models for basic research and drug discovery. Their use has already reduced the use of animals needed for the production of liver cells in the laboratories that have adopted this technology. The cells could also transform the investigation of chemical/drug-induced liver injury, a major concern for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, by reducing dependence on animal testing.

Sharmila Nebhrajani, chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) said:  “Charities invest over £1bn in health research each year, money raised by patients, their families and carers to understand the causes of disease and search for possible cures. Using 3Rs techniques, these prize winning researchers are bringing real hope to people with liver disease. What’s more – they are developing new methods for medical research which should benefit patients with all kinds of conditions.”

On presenting Dr Vallier with his prize, Professor Paul Matthews, Vice-President for Imaging at GlaxoSmithKline, commented: “Ludovic Vallier’s innovative study describes the development and validation of a method to produce cells similar to those in a human liver. Such cells could replace animals for some types of early drug testing and could also help us to predict adverse clinical reactions. Using these cells for drug testing could be transformative.  Ludovic and his colleagues have well illustrated how addressing the 3Rs converges with improving the quality of science!”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

‘Mini-Lungs’ Grown To Aid The Study Of Cystic Fibrosis
'Mini-lungs’ have been created using stem cells derived from skin cells of patients with cystic fibrosis.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Critical Stage of Embryonic Development Now Observable
Scientists now able to view critical aspects of mammalian embryonic development using new technique.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Scientific News
The Mending Tissue - Cellular Instructions for Tissue Repair
NUS-led collaborative study identifies universal mechanism that explains how tissue shape regulates physiological processes such as wound healing and embryo development.
Most Complete Human Brain Model to Date is a ‘Brain Changer’
Once licensed, model likely to accelerate study of Alzheimer’s, autism, more.
Capturing Cell Growth in 3-D
Spinout’s microfluidics device better models how cancer and other cells interact in the body.
Protein That Turns Moles Into Melanoma Cancer Identified
Moles can turn into cancer, if the genetic factors recently identified by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were not present in humans.
Scientists Grow Human Serotonin Neurons in Petri Dish
The advance could facilitate the discovery of new antidepressants and drugs for illnesses involving serotonin.
Study Details Powerful Molecular Promoter of Colon Cancers
Findings show how suppression of microRNA family of molecules leads to intestinal tumors.
From Pluripotency to Totipotency
Studies results provide new elements for the understanding of pluripotency and could increase the efficiency of reprogramming somatic cells to be used for applications in regenerative medicine.
Cancer Treatment Models get Real
Researchers at Rice Univ. and Univ. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a way to mimic the conditions under which cancer tumors grow in bones.
Potential Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy
A new method for producing muscle cells could offer a better model for studying muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, and for testing potential treatment options.
Protein Related to Long Term Traumatic Brain Injury Complications Discovered
NIH-study shows protein found at higher levels in military members who have suffered multiple TBIs.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!