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Scientists may have found an alternative to animal drug testing

A 3D model of living brain cancer has been developed for the first time, providing a possible alternative to drug testing on animals.

Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have potentially solved one of the greatest challenges of tissue engineering by producing the world’s first 3D model of living brain cancer.

The scientists have managed to synthetically replicate the smallest blood vessels found in a human body, inside a 3D model that is full of living cancer cells.

3D printed brain tumour model | Credit: Tel Aviv University

Before this major breakthrough, simple 2D models were the only alternative to animal drug testing, but they proved to be an expensive testing method because they were extremely time consuming due to their simplicity.

“This study represents a big step forward in terms of tissue engineering model for drug screening,” said lead researcher Alessandro Enrico.

“The results of working with a 3D model relate to the actual 3D dimensional tissue in the human body,” he explained.

The team behind the 3D models plan to extend their research beyond treating cancer cells by replicating different forms of tissue in a variety of human organs.

These 3D replicas could prove to be an effective and much more ethical alternative to testing human medication on animals.

If not, people like Elon Musk better start testing their own brain chips and other premature technologies that have harmed animals during testing.