FRAME Alternatives Laboratory
The aim of the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory (the FRAME lab) 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 lab 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 lab 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 lab 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.