The cell function analyser (CFA) - a physiological in vitro vascular model and potential alternative to animal experiments

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Abstract

Cell-vessel wall interactions (adhesion, emigration) and cell-cell cohesion (aggregation) have been assessed primarily in animal experiments. The cell function analyser (CFA) is an in vitro vascular model, in which the three components of Virchow's triad are present in a highly standardised and variable form. The CFA permits visual and quantitative analysis of cellular adhesion, emigration and aggregation under physiologically relevant flow conditions (i.e. to the arteries and to the microcirculation). Although the method does not entail the use of a living animal or of animal tissue, as is true for animal experiments, with the CFA specimen fixation and histomorphological analysis after the experiment is possible. The efficacy of the method for platelet function testing has been verified by numerous clinical studies. The wide variability of test parameters make CFA suitable for in vitro analysis of other cell-vessel-wall-mediated processes, such as inflammation, wound healing and tumour metastasis. We present: 1) a description of the CFA method and underlying hemodynamic principles, 2) a review of clinical and experimental results with platelets and, 3) the first results of convective flow-mediated leukocyte-endothelial interactions. The CFA provides an in vitro alternative to animal experiments, can be classified as a replacement method and possesses an analysis spectrum that will greatly reduce the overall need for the previous.

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“The cell function analyser (CFA) - a physiological in vitro vascular model and potential alternative to animal experiments” (2019) ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 17(3), pp. 115-125. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/1393 (Accessed: 4August2020).
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