Publications by authors named "Jan van der Valk"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

What is understood by "animal-free research"?

Toxicol In Vitro 2019 Jun 5;57:143-144. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

European Society of Toxicology In Vitro, the Netherlands; Department of In Vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2019.03.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) - A pain in the dish?

Altern Lab Anim 2017 Dec;45(6):329-332

Division of Physiology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

The use of Fetal Bovine Serum in replacement alternative methods is associated with serious animal welfare concerns, as well as worrying reproducibility issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119291704500611DOI Listing
December 2017

Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS): Past - Present - Future.

ALTEX 2018 9;35(1):99-118. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

Division of Physiology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

The supplementation of culture medium with fetal bovine serum (FBS, also referred to as "fetal calf serum") is still common practice in cell culture applications. Due to a number of disadvantages in terms of quality and reproducibility of in vitro data, animal welfare concerns, and in light of recent cases of fraudulent marketing, the search for alternatives and the development of serum-free medium formulations has gained global attention. Here, we report on the 3rd Workshop on FBS, Serum Alternatives and Serum-free Media, where regulatory aspects, the serum dilemma, alternatives to FBS, case-studies of serum-free in vitro applications, and the establishment of serum-free databases were discussed. The whole process of obtaining blood from a living calf fetus to using the FBS produced from it for scientific purposes is de facto not yet legally regulated despite the existing EU-Directive 2010/63/EU on the use of animals for scientific purposes. Together with the above-mentioned challenges, several strategies have been developed to reduce or replace FBS in cell culture media in terms of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction, Replacement). Most recently, releasates of activated human donor thrombocytes (human platelet lysates) have been shown to be one of the most promising serum alternatives when chemically-defined media are not yet an option. Additionally, new developments in cell-based assay techniques, advanced organ-on-chip and microphysiological systems are covered in this report. Chemically-defined serum-free media are shown to be the ultimate goal for the majority of culture systems, and examples are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14573/altex.1705101DOI Listing
August 2018

A severe case of fraudulent blending of fetal bovine serum strengthens the case for serum-free cell and tissue culture applications.

Altern Lab Anim 2014 Jun;42(3):207-9

3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119291404200308DOI Listing
June 2014

A plea to reduce or replace fetal bovine serum in cell culture media.

Cytotechnology 2013 Oct 22;65(5):791-3. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Division of Physiology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria,

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10616-013-9633-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967615PMC
October 2013

A framework program for the teaching of alternative methods (replacement, reduction, refinement) to animal experimentation.

ALTEX 2011 ;28(4):341-52

Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing - Europe, University of Konstanz, Germany.

Development of improved communication and education strategies is important to make alternatives to the use of animals, and the broad range of applications of the 3Rs concept better known and understood by different audiences. For this purpose, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in Europe (CAAT-Europe) together with the Transatlantic Think Tank for Toxicology (t(4)) hosted a three-day workshop on "Teaching Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation". A compilation of the recommendations by a group of international specialists in the field is summarized in this report. Initially, the workshop participants identified the different audience groups to be addressed and also the communication media that may be used. The main outcome of the workshop was a framework for a comprehensive educational program. The modular structure of the teaching program presented here allows adaptation to different audiences with their specific needs; different time schedules can be easily accommodated on this basis. The topics cover the 3Rs principle, basic research, toxicological applications, method development and validation, regulatory aspects, case studies and ethical aspects of 3Rs approaches. This expert consortium agreed to generating teaching materials covering all modules and providing them in an open access online repository.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14573/altex.2011.4.341DOI Listing
April 2012

Effects of the introduction of in vitro assays on the use of experimental animals in pharmacological research.

Altern Lab Anim 2007 May;35(2):223-8

Department of Pharmacology, Organon, Oss, The Netherlands.

The introduction of in vitro assays in pharmacological research has led to a reduction in the number of experimental animals used. But what has been the degree of this reduction, and when did it really start? This report describes the events in a medium-sized pharmaceutical company. Analysis of data collected over the last 12 years shows a five-fold reduction in the number of experimental animals used per compound synthesised. Compounds from compound libraries (large collections of randomly-synthesised molecules) that are being assessed for potential bioactivity in 'high-throughput screening' were not included in this analysis. Over the years, the (average) degree of discomfort for the animals in the experiments did not vary much; with variation generally observed from 1.5 to 2.0 (on a scale from 1-6). There was a peak in the discomfort score of experimental mice in 1997, which could be explained by the initiation of arthritis models that were subsequently refined, resulting in a lower degree of suffering. It might be concluded that the introduction of in vitro assays has indeed brought about a significant reduction in the number of experimental animals required to select a good compound (i.e. one that could progress to the preclinical toxicology phase). However, this development appears to have been neutralised by the low survival rate of new chemical entities in clinical studies, leading to a lower number of compounds per annum that actually reach the market place. Put in this 'productivity perspective', the number of experimental animals required to select a marketable drug has not much changed in the last decade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119290703500211DOI Listing
May 2007

Proposal for the composition of animal experiments committees in the Netherlands.

ALTEX 2006 ;23(3):191-6

Netherlands Centre Alternatives to Animal Use, Dept. of Animals, Science and Society, Fac. Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The Dutch Act on Animal Experimentation (1996) requires that local animal experiments committees (AECs) review animal experiments and balance the scientific and societal benefits of the experiments against the suffering caused to the animals used. Each AEC is composed of at least seven members who provide a balance of expertise in animal experiments, alternatives to laboratory animal experiments, ethics, and animal welfare and protection. This study proposes selection criteria for individuals possessing each of the four AEC required areas of expertise. Criteria were established minding that, on the one hand, sufficient knowledge and expertise can be demonstrated whilst, on the other hand, a sufficient number of people would qualify to participate in the AECs. The results of this study may serve as a starting point for further discussion of selection criteria for members of AECs both in the Netherlands and in other countries where ethical review processes have been or are being implemented.
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July 2007

ESTIV questionnaire on the acquisition and use of primary human cells and tissue in toxicology.

Toxicol In Vitro 2005 Oct 16;19(7):1009-13. Epub 2005 Sep 16.

Department of Transplantology and the Central Tissue Bank, Centre of Biostructure Research, Medical University of Warsaw, ul. Chałubińskiego 5, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland.

The ability to use human cells and tissues in toxicology research and testing has the benefit that it obviates the need to undertake species extrapolation when assessing human hazard. However, obtaining and using human cells and tissues is logistically difficult, ethically complex and is a potential source of infections to those coming into contact with human cell material. The issue is also controversial, with the recent EU legislation draft on tissue engineering, and also due to some instances of human material being obtained and used without informed consent. There are also varying regulations and attitudes relating to the use of human cells and tissues throughout Member States of the EU, and there is a need for harmonisation. The European Society of Toxicology in Vitro (ESTIV) Executive Board and the European Network of Human Research Tissue Banks (ENRTB) have conducted a survey to ascertain the extent to which human cells and tissues are used by its members, how these are obtained, what local regulations are in force, how the material is used, and the advantages and disadvantages experienced by members in using such material, as opposed to cell lines. The results obtained have been compared with the results from a previous survey conducted in 2000. It is hoped that this information will help to facilitate the process of acquiring and using human cells and tissues in a safe and effective way to promote the use of non-animal approaches for investigating the mechanisms of toxicity, and for predicting the toxic hazard of substances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2005.06.041DOI Listing
October 2005

Fourth meeting of the European Network of Research Tissue Banks - future strategy to increase collaborations in the supply of human tissue for biomedical research.

Cell Tissue Bank 2005 ;6(2):131-8

The Innovation Centre, UK Human Tissue Bank, Leicester.

This report records the Fourth meeting of the European Network of Research Tissue Bank (Brussels, 18th March 2004) which was attended by Mel Read MEP. The existing membership of this informal group represents European Human Research Tissue Bankers, biomedical researchers seeking access to human tissue and allied groups including animal welfare representatives. This Fourth meeting provided a forum to update members on individual activity in this area. A particular focus of this meeting was to consider the status of this group and future affiliations to increase the profile and activity of this Network. This meeting addressed differences in legislative and ethical requirements governing the use of human tissue in biomedical research in the different countries represented. Future activity of the ENRTB, planned at this meeting, will target harmonisation of current differences which are currently barriers to increased access to human tissue for biomedical research. Through the harmonisation of procurement, processing and distribution of human tissue specimens the ENRTB will provide a mechanism to benefit human health through increased use of human tissue in pharmacotoxicological studies and the associated replacement of animal tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10561-004-3905-7DOI Listing
August 2005

Reduction through education: the insight of a trainer.

Altern Lab Anim 2004 Sep;32 Suppl 2:1-4

Netherlands Centre for Alternatives (NCA), Department of Animals, Science and Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.166, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands.

One of the articles contained within European Council Directive 86/609/EEC states that "Persons who carry out experiments or take part in them, and persons who take care of animals used for experiments, including duties of a supervisory nature, shall have appropriate training". In effect, this article stipulates that only competent individuals are allowed to work with laboratory animals. At least three groups of individuals can be identified with different responsibilities toward experimental animals: animal technicians, scientists, and veterinarians/animal welfare officers. The responsibilities and duties of the individuals within each of these categories differ. This paper focuses on the training of scientists. The scientist designs, and often also performs, animal experiments. Therefore, scientists must be educated to develop an attitude of respect toward laboratory animals, and must be trained so that, if an experiment must be performed with animals, it is designed according to the highest possible scientific and ethical standards. In The Netherlands, the law stipulates that scientists intending to work with animals must have completed a course in laboratory animal science. This compulsory course started in 1986. The Department of Laboratory Animal Science at Utrecht University is responsible for the national coordination of this course. Participants must have an academic degree (at the level of MSc) in one of the biomedical sciences, such as biology, medicine or veterinary medicine. Although the course is an intensive 3-week, 120-hour long course, which covers both technical and ethical aspects of laboratory animal experimentation, it cannot provide full competence. It is designed to provide sufficient basic training and knowledge to enable students to design animal experiments, and to develop an attitude that will be conducive to the implementation of the Three Rs. However, full competence will always require further training that can only be acquired as a result of practical experience gained while working in the field of laboratory animal research. Evaluations subsequent to the course have revealed that more than 98% of the students regard the course as indispensable for all scientists working in a research area where animal experiments are performed. They agree that the course not only contributes to the quality of experiments and to the welfare of animals, but also to a decrease in the number of animals used in experiments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119290403202s02DOI Listing
September 2004

Report and recommendations of the international workshop "Retrieval approaches for information on alternative methods to animal experiments".

ALTEX 2004 ;21(3):115-27

Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments (ZEBET), Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), D-12277 Berlin, Germany.

In the member states of the EU and in the USA, scientists are obliged by animal welfare legislation not to conduct an animal experiment if another scientifically satisfactory method is reasonably and practicably available. To meet the regulatory obligation to use alternatives to animal experiments, scientists should consult literature and other relevant sources on alternatives prior to any experimental study on laboratory animals. It is the responsibility of the individual scientist to select the most appropriate database to obtain information on alternatives, which have been defined as methods that refine, reduce or replace animal experiments (the 3 Rs concept of Russell and Burch (1959)). Specialised information services provide support to scientists searching for publications on alternative methods. On occasion of a workshop in Berlin in November 2003, representatives of animal welfare information centres discussed currently available information sources on alternative methods, index terms for alternative methods, and search strategies based on index terms for alternative methods. ZEBET presented an investigation on the current status of indexing systems on alternative methods in established literature databases. The project analysed how the results of a search for publications on alternatives was influenced by the indexing procedure. The results of the study were exemplified by a typical search result. The results of the study indicated that the current indexing systems do not provide the required information, since not all of the relevant information is indexed under "alternative methods". The workshop participants developed recommendations for ad hoc working groups and research projects, e.g. development of suitable search strategies on alternative methods for scientists.
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November 2004

The establishment of a network of European human research tissue banks.

Cell Tissue Bank 2002 ;3(2):133-7

UK Human Tissue Bank, De Montfort University, Innovation Centre, Oxford StreetLeicester, LE1 5XY,

This is a report of a workshop held on the establishment of human research tissue banking which was held in Levi, Finland 21-24 March 2002. There were 21 participants from 7 European countries. This meeting was attended by representatives from academia, research tissue banks and from the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industries. The principal aim of the workshop was to find a way to progress the recommendations from ECVAM workshop 44 (ATLA 29, 125-134, 2001) and ECVAM workshop 32 (ATLA 26, 763-777, 1998). The workshop represented the first unofficial meeting of the European Network of Research Tissue Banks (ENRTB) steering group. It is expected that in the period preceding the next workshop the ENRTB steering group will co-ordinate the ethical, legislative and organisational aspects of research tissue banking. Key issues dealt with by the Levi workshop included the practical aspects of sharing expertise and experiences across the different European members. Such collaboration between research tissue banks and end users of such material seeks to ultimately enable shared access to human tissue for medical and pharmaco-toxicological research while maintaining strict adherence to differences in legal and ethical aspects related to the use of human tissue in individual countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022811232250DOI Listing
January 2002

The European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education.

Altern Lab Anim 2004 Jun;32 Suppl 1B:603-5

NCA, Department Animals & Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education (EURCA: http://www.eurca.org) is an exciting new project, which aims to enable teachers using animals in teaching to be more creative and innovative in their approach to teaching and learning, to foster high-quality training for science students, and to significantly reduce the number of animals used, often unnecessarily, in teaching. This will be achieved by: a) establishing a resource centre--a collection of mainly electronic alternatives, and taking this to relevant scientific meetings in Europe, where it would function as a drop-in advice centre for teachers; b) creating a network of academic teachers who actively use alternatives, to take responsibility for disseminating information about alternatives to other teachers in the European Union, to participate in the activity outlined above, and to share experiences and good practice; c) setting up an Internet website with an expansive, information-rich database (peer-reviews, demos, peer-evaluations, peer-recommendations, links to users, etc.) on selected "tried and tested" alternatives; and d) encouraging and promoting the findings of evaluative studies on the effectiveness of alternatives in higher education teaching and learning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119290403201s101DOI Listing
June 2004

The use of fetal bovine serum: ethical or scientific problem?

Altern Lab Anim 2002 Mar-Apr;30(2):219-27

Department of Laboratory Animal Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80166, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is a common component of animal cell culture media. It is harvested from bovine fetuses taken from pregnant cows during slaughter. FBS is commonly harvested by means of a cardiac puncture without any form of anaesthesia. Fetuses are probably exposed to pain and/or discomfort, so the current practice of fetal blood harvesting is inhumane. Apart from moral concerns, several scientific and technical problems exist with regard to the use of FBS in cell culture. Efforts should be made to reduce the use of FBS or, preferably, to replace it with synthetic alternatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026119290203000208DOI Listing
June 2002