MultiSim’s researchers are trying to find ways to reduce and refine animal testing in pre-clinical trials by using computer models and medical imaging. One application of these approaches is to study the effect of skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis and its treatments.
At the University of Sheffield, high-resolution scans can be performed on mice to measure the properties of the same bone in the same animal over time using a technique called in vivo micro-Computed Tomography scanning.
It is important to optimise scanning procedures in order to find the best compromise between the measured outcomes and the length of the scan, in order to reduce the discomfort of the animal and to minimise the required radiation dose on them, which may affect significantly the outcome of the study.
The study was conducted by Dr Enrico Dall’Ara and Professor Marco Viceconti of the MultiSim project, based at the University of Sheffield’s Insigneo Institute in collaboration with the NC3Rs, a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing (the 3Rs).