The symposium will take place from 2 to 3 December 2015 in Leuven, Belgium.
Refinement, Reduction and Replacement of the use of animals in toxicity testing is of particular importance for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry in Europe. Although important efforts have been made to decrease the need for animals in toxicity testing, the assessment of toxic effects of chronic exposure still requires the use of a relatively high number of animals. Aside from the ethical considerations, there is also a great need for suitable human cells to be used in toxicity testing, due to the often poor concordance seen between animal models and toxic effects in humans. In view of the complete ban of animal testing in Europe for cosmetic products and individual cosmetic ingredients in March 2013, the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe have thus jointly launched a European research initiative called SEURAT-1 (Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing) in January 2011 including six European collaborative research projects to develop innovative scientific in vitro tools for repeated dose toxicity testing. As one of the six research projects funded under the SEURAT-1 umbrella HeMiBio aimed at developing a hepatic microfluidic bioreactor mimicking the complex structure and function of the human liver which would be suitable to carry out repeated dose testing.
The symposium will highlight the results obtained within the HeMiBio consortium, including the development and differentiation of iPSC reporter lines and hepatic differentiation protocols, microfluidic bioreactor design and construction and development of sensors capable of evaluating hepatocyte function in repeated dose toxicity settings; and the creation of an in vitro model hepatocyte-stellate cell co-culture model for assessment of liver fibrosis. In addition, sessions will also highlight topics covered by other SEURAT-1 funded consortia, aside from state of the art lectures by experts in these areas of research.
Organising Committee: Catherine Verfaillie (KULeuven), Aernout Luttun (KULeuven), Leo van Grunsven (VUB), Mathieu Vinken (VUB), Yaakov Nahmias (HUJI), Pau Sancho Bru (IDIBAPS), Christiane Dascher-Nadel (IT)
Registration will open on 20 August
use of animals in toxicity testing