University of Sheffield’s researchers are trying to find ways to reduce animal testing in preclinical trials by using computer models and medical imaging. One application of this technology, also known as in silico methods, is to study the effect of skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis and its treatments.
Using in silico methods, researchers conducted a longitudinal study on mice investigating the effect of parathyroid hormone treatment, Teriparatide. Teriparatide is an intervention that is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. The effects of Teriparatide on the bones of the same colony of mice were observed over eight weeks using noninvasive imaging and engineering methods. To achieve the same results using standard techniques several mice would need to be culled.
Another benefit of using in silico methods was that it gave a more precise picture of the effectiveness of this drug as it was possible to observe small changes occurring just after a week of treatment, something not achievable with standard analysis.
The study was conducted by Dr Enrico Dall’Ara, Professor Ilaria Bellantuono, 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).
Find out more about combining experimental & computational research to reduce in vivo testing in preclinical settings at our Modelathon event. To register visit http://multisim-insigneo.org/modelathon/ Registration closes 20 August 2017.
MultiSim project: http://multisim-insigneo.org/