The Swiss 3R Competence Centre pushes for non-animal methods
The Swiss 3R Competence Centre promotes the so-called 3R principles (Replace, Reduce, Refine) - i.e. efforts to replace animal experiments with alternative methods whenever possible, to reduce the number of animals used in experiments and to keep the distress to the animals as low as possible. "We have been actively implementing the 3Rs principles in our research for a long time and are promoting corresponding projects," emphasizes Daniel Candinas, Vice Rector Research at the University of Bern – this is now also reflected in the current grants.
All three Bernese projects pursue the goal of replacing animal experiments with cell cultures in specific, suitable areas. In this way scientists at the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research and the Inselspital are cultivating human lung cells on a chip, while researchers at the Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR) want to develop three-dimensional cell structures (organoids) to study tumor growth. Finally, a research group at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (IBMM) is developing a cell model to study how drugs can be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy.