Skin in the Game
Could donated skin be a viable alternative to animal testing?
William Aryitey |
Genoskin – a French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) spinoff – believes there is a better alternative to animal testing when it comes to dermatological and cosmetic research: donated human skin, which it collects from surgical procedures. Keeping the skin ‘alive’ using an ex vivo culture system, the company is able to provide skin samples in the form of slide sections, frozen tissue, or epidermal to hypodermal sections.
“I have previously worked with transgenic and knockout mice to investigate the function of a particular gene in skin development,” explains says Pascal Descargues, CEO of Genoskin. “The mouse models were very useful in discovering new molecular pathways, but we were not able to confirm the results for humans because we were missing key comparable elements. Furthermore, we found that a mouse model reproducing the skin disorder Netherton Syndrome could not be used to screen drugs at all since the disease is lethal for mice.”
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