Stem Cells Offer New Alternative to Animals for Skin Tests

The Physicians Committee

Stem Cells Offer New Alternative to Animals for Skin Tests

April 29, 2014

Human stem cells can be converted into skin cells and grown in 3-D culture, according to a new publication in Stem Cell Reports, offering another replacement for animal tests.

Up until now, scientists have used cells from skin samples as an efficient alternative to animal tests for drug development and testing. However, one sample of skin provides a limited number of cells. In this new report, researchers state that using stem cells allowed them to produce human skin cell cultures, in a technique that can likely be scaled up so that many cultures can be produced from each sample.

This technology may represent a new source of human skin cell cultures, providing researchers with increased access to reliable, human-relevant methods for drug and cosmetics testing.

Petrova A, Celli A, Jacquet L, et al. 3D in vitro model of a functional epidermal permeability barrier from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports. In press.

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