Bentley Discusses Alternatives to Animal Testing in PRiSMThe use of animals in research remains a controversial topic among animal lovers and scientists. There's almost no getting around it in order to bring the latest advances in medicine to market: at present, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires animal testing before new biomedical devices and drugs can be used on people.
But soon, reports Jamie N. Schock in the March/April 2013 issue of PRiSM, published by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), there may be new alternatives to animal testing, including systems under development at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of engineering.
In the story, "Of Mice and Men," Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) professor and chair William E. Bentley discusses how his research group and colleagues in the Maryland Biochip Collaborative are developing biomimetic devices that can simulate the behavior of human tissue, organs and systems, eliminating the need for certain kinds of testing on animals or people. The devices combine lab-grown cells with computer chips, and are capable of monitoring the cells' communications with and reactions to each other and certain types of stimuli. The story also discusses Bentley's efforts to improve and modernize the FDA's regulatory process through his work with the University of Maryland's Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI).
Read "Of Mice and Men" online at the ASEE PRiSM web site »
Published May 20, 2013