Division of Biology and Medicine
Center for Alternatives to Animals in Testing

Research

Center research teams are using microtissues to assess the effects of chemical exposures on brain, breast, heart, lung, ovary, and prostate cells.

Through an integration of biology and engineering, we have devised simple, high-throughput 3D microtissues as predictive biology platforms that reflect human physiology and disease, solving fundamental questions of adverse biological response. 

75,000

Chemicals in use in the United States--most have not been tested for their safety

23%

Global burden of cardiovascular disease attributable to environmental chemicals

Researchers led by Diane Hoffman-Kim are using brain microtissues to investigate the development of the nervous system, the toxicity of environmental chemicals as well as diseases and disorders of the brain, including stroke and traumatic brain injury.
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The Boekelheide lab is using breast 3D microtissues to investigate the toxicological effects of estrogens and chemicals that mimic estrogen’s effects.
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Researchers are using human cardiac microtissues as a platform for predicting arrhythmia generation and cardiotoxicity in response to environmental chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs as an alternative to animal testing.
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Researchers are using 3D microtissues to study the effects of pollutants and engineered nanomaterials on the liver.
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Lung microtissues are being developed as a tiered testing strategy and initial step for screening for the potential hazards of new nanomaterials.
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The Morgan lab is using ovary microtissues to measure the effects of drugs and environmental chemicals that can affect fertility.
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The Boekelheide lab is using the prostate microtissue as a means to identify endocrine active chemicals that mimic or counteract the action of normal hormones.
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The Boekelheide lab in collaboration with the Morgan lab has developed a two-compartment liver microtissue system that measures the toxic effect of liver metabolites.
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