Animal experiments are conducted to demonstrate the safety of novel products before they enter the market or to provide insights in the efficacy of new drugs or medical devices. Moreover, animal models are often needed in basic science to elucidate various processes in biomedical research.

Research with animal is strongly regulated and needs to be approved by a local ethic-committee. Moreover, researchers are trying to reduce the number of animals to an minimum or refine the living conditions for the animals. A good example is the ban of animal experimentation for cosmetics where strict policies were put into place in the European Union that triggered that a whole industry is not using animal models anymore. However, the use of animals in research is still often afflicted with ethical concerns and conflicts with the general understanding of animal welfare.

So why are we still using animal experimentation?

The simple answer is, they are currently indispensable for finding an answer to certain research questions – yet.
Aiming for a reduction or even replacement of animal use in research, in vitro models can be considered as a valuable and complementary addition to animal models.

WI3R sees its role in removing the “yet” by providing new models and tools for the scientific community and pushing the boundaries of what can be tested without animal experiments.


The team of the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies TLC-RT and the University of Würzburg received the DFG Animal Welfare Award 2022 for its research on alternatives to animal experiments.

In vitro eye test

Dr. Christian Lotz (Deputy Head of Department In-vitro Test Systems) received the Felix Wankel Prize 2021 for the development of an in-vitro eye irritation test. The new method is expected to replace the Draize eye test after about 80 years.

“Tierversuche verstehen”

If you want to learn more about animal experimentation we recommend the webpage of Tierversuche verstehen that explain a lot of toward this controversially discussed topic and offer a great source of reliable information.