Software and Programming Tools in Pharmaceutical Research

Experimental Tools as an “Alternative to Animal Research” in Pharmacology

Author(s): Kunjbihari Sulakhiya*, Rishi Paliwal, Anglina Kisku, Madhavi Sahu, Shivam Aditya, Pranay Soni and Saurabh Maru

Pp: 170-206 (37)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815223019124010010

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Experimental tools have emerged as a promising alternative to animal research in pharmacology. With growing ethical concerns and regulatory restrictions surrounding animal experimentation, researchers are increasingly turning towards in vitro and in silico methods to develop new drugs and evaluate their safety and efficacy. In vitro tools include cell culture systems, 3D organoid models, and microfluidic devices replicating complex physiological conditions, such as the blood-brain barrier or the liver microenvironment. These systems can provide more accurate and predictive results than animal models, reducing ethical concerns and experimental costs. In silico methods, such as computer modelling, simulation, and artificial intelligence, enable researchers to predict the drug-target interactions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of new drugs without animal testing. Experimental tools have several advantages over animal research, including more accurate and predictive results, lower costs, higher throughput, and reduced ethical concerns. However, the limitations of these tools must also be acknowledged, such as the inability to fully replicate the complexity of a living organism, which requires further validation. These tools offer a promising avenue for advancing pharmacological research while reducing the reliance on animal experimentation. In conclusion, experimental tools provide an excellent alternative to animal research in pharmacology to identify and avoid potential toxicities early in the drug discovery process and have the potential to revolutionize drug discovery and development. This chapter mainly focuses on the numerous in vitro, in silico, non-animal in vivo, and emerging experimental tools and their regulatory perspectives on validation, acceptance, and implementation of the alternative methods used in pharmacological research.

Keywords: Animal research, Cell culture, Computer modelling, Emerging tools, Microfluidic devices, Organ-on-a-Chip technology, Pharmacology, Regulatory guidelines.

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