Campaign for animal-free research for joint conditions
At least 40 million people across Europe suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common form of rheumatism. Research into this debilitating joint condition is thus desperately needed, but it is still far too frequently conducted on laboratory animals such as rats, rabbits, goats, and sheep, all species which would never naturally experience osteoarthritis. Their joints are therefore intentionally damaged for the purposes of research.
Professor Marcel Karperien and Dr Liliane Moreira Teixeira (University of Twente) are developing an animal-free alternative to this painful research: the joint-on-a-chip, which can simulate human joint movement. This could not only ensure that painful tests on animals in joint research will no longer be necessary in the future, but it could also bring a cure for osteoarthritis one step closer.
In order to move forward in the fight for non-animal testing alternatives, it is critical to dispel misconceptions about animal testing. Nowadays, technology allows scientific testing to be done without animal suffering, including for laborious research such as arthritis.