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South Hampton University Research into Testing Drugs Can Reduce Need for Laboratory Animals

A study by the University of Southampton into a new method of testing medicine could considerably scale back the need for laboratory animals.

Professor Marcel Utz, Head of Magnetic Resonance on the University’s Chemistry Division, is the main research into culturing tiny samples of liver tissues that may be observed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

Historically, NMR has required comparatively large tissue samples making it troublesome for scientists to study individual cells or natural products. However, Professor Utz and his staff have recently developed miniaturized and highly influential NMR detectors that allow drugs to be examined and diseases to be studied in small units in vitro.

NMR provides scientists with detailed info on the structure and behavior of molecules, allowing them to review live cells, animals, and humans.

Marcel, Head of Magnetic Resonance, said: “Our staff has succeeded in utilizing an impact based on primary laws of quantum mechanics to efficiently align the spins of the hydrogen nuclei in a pattern. This close to perfect alignment leads to an enormous boost within the NMR signal.

The study has been printed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The detector and lab-on-a-chip expertise had been developed as a part of the European Horizon 2020 undertaking that is revolutionizing tissue culture with NMR by offering alternatives to animal testing.

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