Special Issue "Towards 3R (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) Approaches: Bioengineering Tools and Technologies as Advanced Alternatives to Animal Testing"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.
Inter-university Center for the Promotion of the 3Rs Principles in Teaching and Research, Italy
Interests: bioreactors and devices; tissue engineering; cardiac regeneration; stem cell production; bioprocess automation; fluid dynamics and mass transport modeling; multiscale mechanical characterization of biological tissues; regenerative medicine; biomedical engineering
The use of in vivo and in vitro animal models in biomedical research has been fundamental for achieving in-depth knowledge of development and disease mechanisms and for novel therapies testing, leading to ground-breaking progress in life sciences. However, besides the central ethical debate, animals are not always reliable as human-like models, their use can be extremely expensive, and in vivo systemic effects and high inter-subject variability do not allow controlling or obtaining real-time precise information on individual bioprocess parameters.
In our opinion, and according to EU legislation and several national and international initiatives such as 3R Centers and networks, it is time to develop advanced alternatives to animal testing and to encourage their application towards reduction, refinement, and even replacement (3R) of animal use for scientific purposes and in pre-clinical research.
The current Special Issue wants to highlight new and advanced bioengineering tools and technologies for developing better and more predictive alternative methods, whose integrated application could lead to a drastic reduction of animal use in the whole field of biomedical research, from basic research and tissue engineering studies to drug testing and toxicological screening.
Relevant methods include three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models mimicking cells, tissues, organs, and their physiological processes (e.g., based on human cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, functional biomaterials, organoids, engineered tissues, etc.). Of special interest are studies with novel bioreactors, microfluidics, and organ-on-chips that provide biomimetic, monitored, and controlled 3D in vitro culture conditions. New technologies for biological tissue characterization, or those designed as a test bench for identifying innovative pharmacological treatments and for testing new products, e.g., for cosmetic industry, will be included.
In addition, in silico models based on advanced computer modeling and artificial intelligence to unravel biological system complexity and to study diseases' mechanisms of action and related therapies (e.g., molecular and multiscale modeling from molecules to organs) are welcome.
This Issue is open for papers addressing the following topics:
- 3D in vitro models of cells/tissues/organs;
- Biomimetic bioreactors, microfluidics, and organ-on-chips;
- Sensors and monitoring devices for 3D in vitro cultures;
- Test bench technologies;
- In silico approaches.
We look forward to receiving your contributions for this Special Issue.
Dr. Diana Massai
Prof. Sara Mantero
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
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