All DART (Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity) tests demand large numbers of animals, as parental and offspring generations are involved, and depending on circumstances, developmental toxicity studies can be required to be executed in two species (i.e. one rodent and one non-rodent).
Despite little change in the last few decades, in recent years, major updates have been made to the DART guidelines which encourage the use of the consideration of the 3R principles in experiments. The new guidlines advise the use of scientific and technical innovations like:
- assays based on human cells
- non-mammalian models
- high throughput testing
- omics approaches (large pooled data resources)
- systems biology
- computational modeling
These methods can lead towards the reduction and replacement of animal testing in the future. Also very importantly, using these innovative models will greatly enhance the relevance and predictivity for humans. This is a positive step forward in an area of research where there is much room for improvement regarding the consideration of the laboratory animal welfare by using the 3R principles.
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