I could go on and on about the reasons why animal testing is archaic and unnecessary, but instead of babbling like a brook, I’m just going to leave it at Exhibit A: the technological breakthrough at Hµrel. This company relies on its expertise in engineering and cell cultures to provide scientists with alternatives to animal testing. Hµrel has developed a three-dimensional surrogate human liver that scientists can use to study the breakdown of chemicals in the human body. This in vitro (test tube) human cell–based technology effectively mimics human organs and can be used to test cosmetics, drugs, and chemicals. By providing an accurate substitute for countless animals who are experimented on and killed each year, Hµrel’s 3D liver not only marks a major advancement in the scientific community, it has also made Hµrel the recipient of our Proggy Award for the Best Scientific Innovation of 2010—the first Proggy of the new year!
We’re not the only ones wowed by Hµrel’s humane technology. The folks at L’Oréal are so impressed with the potential of this human surrogate that they’re collaborating with Hµrel to develop a model to test chemicals for their potential to cause skin allergies. Allergic reactions in the skin involve the interaction of cells from two tissues—skin and lymph nodes—and this has complicated efforts to develop a non-animal model. Hµrel’s technology is perfectly suited for this complex task, and an accurate, non-animal skin sensitivity test will ensure consumer safety without harming animals.
Written by Logan Scherer