Essay on Human In Vitro Testing

Decent Essays
Everyday scientists perform different tests on cells (known as in vitro testing) to assess numerous concepts, such as drug efficiency and nanoparticle toxicity. Unfortunately, these tests do not always provide the best or most accurate results since the human body is composed of several different cell types, all of which interact and cause robust responses that cannot accurately be mimicked or studied with single cells. Thus, current techniques are being employed to imitate the complexity of the human body by using more than two cell lines combined together.

Previous techniques used single cell types, or what is commonly known as a monoculture system to study cellular responses. This is often used for simplicity and for studying single
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While monocultures are not the perfect representation of a complex system, they are still extremely useful for science research and provide the basis for numerous different studies. With only one cell line to study, scientists know that the response they measure is a direct result of the treatment rather than a result of cell signaling and cell interactions.

To account for the versatility of a human system, scientists are beginning to use co-culture cell systems. These are systems that combine two or more cell lines. These types of models are beneficial for studies because they show how a response in the body is more likely to occur. Following toxic exposures, cells signal to each other to elicit a response to control for potential damage. For example, when a nanoparticle is inhaled it enters the lung. Once here, depending on the size of the particle, it travels to the alveolar region (the area of the lung responsible for oxygen exchange with the blood). Once in this region, if the particle is toxic, our immune response is activated. This means that immune cells, like macrophages, move toward the particle and attempt to engulf it to prevent further toxic effects. Immune cells often release chemicals that signal to other cells that damage has occurred. These signals then elicit responses, such as an inflammatory response, and additional cells are
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