The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory

FRAME Alternatives Laboratory

The aim of the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory is to produce human-based systems that are better and more relevant to humans than current animal models. FRAME makes an annual donation to support work carried out there.

When the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory was established in 1991 at the University of Nottingham Medical School, research concentrated mainly on replacements for acute toxicology testing such as the notorious LD50 test and the Draize eye irritancy test in rabbits. Many of its findings are now accepted in mainstream research, contributing to a reduction in the number of animals used for toxicology testing.

Since Dr Andy Bennett’s appointment as Director in 2006, the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory now concentrates on using samples obtained, with full ethical approval and under licence from the Human Tissue Authority, from operations at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, to construct in vitro models of human cells and organs for biomedical research.

The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory uses cells derived from human tissues to produce biologically relevant in vitro models of human organs, which behave and respond in the way they would in the body. Rather than growing cells as a single layer on plastic surfaces, we use three-dimensional scaffolds and introduce flow into our systems to replicate the environment found in living humans. Current cell models include human liver, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and skin.

The money FRAME contributes to the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory allowed the lab to be fully refurbished. The funding also allows the lab to update and maintain state of the art equipment for growing human tissue, as well as providing support for PhD students, postdocs and undergraduate students from the University of Nottingham to develop research projects that focus on alternatives.’

FRAME contributes an annual block grant to support research at the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory. This funding allowed the lab to be completely refurbished in 2007. The grant also allows the lab to update and maintain state of the art equipment for growing human tissue, as well as providing support for PhD students, postdocs and undergraduate students from the University of Nottingham to develop research projects that focus on alternatives.

Read more about FRAME research projects on the Projects page. A list of published papers from FRAME funded research can be found here.

FRAME Alternatives Laboratory