Skip to main content
  1. Resource

Human-Relevant Alternatives to Animal Tests


Tissue-on-a-chip models, or microphysiological systems, are a fusion of engineering and advanced biology. Silicon chips are lined with human cells that mimic the structure and function of human organs and organ systems. They are used for disease modeling, personalized medicine, and drug testing.

Tissue Chip for Drug Screening

The National Institutes of Health's Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program creates devices that mimic the function of human organs.

High-Throughput Screening

High-throughput screening can perform many different tests very quickly. The National Institutes of Health uses an ultra-high-speed robot capable of testing more chemicals in a single day than have been tested in the past 20 to 30 years using animals.

Tox21 Robot

The National Institutes of Health's high-speed Tox21 robot can screen thousand of chemicals at once.

In Silico

Computer-based techniques can simulate human biology and the progression of diseases or predict drug metabolism and distribution in the body.

3-D Bioprinting

Layers of cells, growth factors, and biomaterials are printed with 3-D construction that imitates natural tissue. Printed organs are used for chemical testing, medical research, and drug safety. 


Advanced tools for seeing inside the human body, even to the level of a single neuron, help study conditions like neurological disorders and observe drug effects.


These highly controlled human trials administer small, subtherapeutic doses to understand how a drug moves and metabolizes inside the body.

Support our work. Become a member.

More on Ethical Science