The objections to animal experiments which have accumulated on both ethical and scientific grounds drive the development of new alternative approaches which do not use animals. Despite the plethora of available alternative methods in different fields of safety assessment, there are still either no validated animal-free replacement methods for some toxicity endpoints or they need a thorough improvement/development. NIOM, as an institute from the Widening Country, aims to increase its capacity (portfolio) towards available in vitro methods for toxicity testing. TWINALT project aims to: i) significantly strengthen the research position of NIOM in the field of alternative methods to toxicity assessment by linking it with 3 prominent scientific partners in this field from Belgium (VUB), Norway (NILU), and Italy (UMIL); ii) enhance the S&T capacity of the 4 linked institutions with a principal focus on the NIOM; iii) commercialize and integrate the TWINALT research with the needs of society at the local, regional, national, European and global level.
Five research areas have been identified to be focused on in TWINALT: i) modern methods for cytotoxicity assessment (High Throughput/Content Screening); ii) new cell models in alternative methods (co-cultures, 3D models); iii) standard/modern alternative methods for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity assessment; iv) characterization of cell-nanomaterial interactions under in vitro conditions; v) in silico methods in safety assessment.
The work will be organized into 4 packages: i) elaboration of a common RTD and innovation strategy on alternative methods; ii) exchange of know-how with partners through training mobilities; iii) communication, exploitation and dissemination activities (web-site, regional and international events, joint publications, press releases, education, contacts with industrial sector); iv) management.
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