Assuring consumer safety without animals: Applications for tissue engineering
Volume 5, Issue 2
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Pages 67 - 72http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/org.5.2.9128
Authors: Carl Westmoreland and Anthony M. Holmes View affiliations
Humans are exposed to a variety of chemicals in their everyday lives through interactions with the environment and through the use of consumer products. It is a basic requirement that these products are tested to assure they are safe under normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use. Within the European Union, the majority of tests used for generating toxicological data rely on animals. However recent changes in legislation (e.g. 7th amendment of the Cosmetics Directive and REACH) are driving researchers to develop and adopt non-animal alternative methods with which to assure human safety. Great strides have been made to this effect, but what other opportunities/technologies exist that could expedite this? Tissue engineering has increasing scope to contribute to replacing animals with scientifically robust alternatives in basic research and safety testing, but is this application of the technology being fully exploited? This review highlights how the consumer products industry is applying tissue engineering to ensure chemicals are safe for human use without using animals, and identifies areas for future development and application of the technology.