Introducing the concept of the 3Rs into tissue engineering research

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Claudia Eder
Erwin Falkner
Stefan Nehrer
Udo M. Losert
Harald Schöffl


Tissue engineering, defined as using a combination of cultured cells and biodegradable scaffolds to repair tissue damaged by injury or disease, represents a booming sector of biomedical research. Animal experimentation is routinely performed prior to clinical trials. The presented study tries to translate the aspect of the 3Rs to tissue engineering research: Cell culture protocols were adapted to antibiotic free and serum free conditions. Biomaterials (Bio-Gide® and a collagen sponge prototype) were pre-tested using the HET-CAM assay. CAM-testing suggested a protocol change for application of the Bio-Gide® scaffold and demonstrated unsuitable material properties of the collagen sponge. Application of 3R compliant protocols for tissue engineering research led to increased cell proliferation, higher synthesis of extracellular matrix molecules, reduced dedifferentiation and more information about the biomaterials at an early experimental stage. Tissue engineering research can therefore profit from the increased efforts to validate in vitro alternatives and supplements to animal testing.

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How to Cite
Eder, C., Falkner, E., Nehrer, S., Losert, U. M. and Schöffl, H. (2006) “Introducing the concept of the 3Rs into tissue engineering research”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 23(1), pp. 17–23. Available at: (Accessed: 22 September 2023).

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