Non-animal models as promising tools to combat cardiovascular diseases


Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality and morbidity in humans. According to the statistics, in Europe in 2019, about 63 million people have cardiovascular diseases, and about 17.9 million people died worldwide.

Despite the great progress made in the past years in understanding the mechanisms of diseases, the failure of the current drug development paradigm is still very high.

Usage Animal models It has contributed greatly to our understanding of the disease, but the architecture and cellular structure of the rat heart is very different from that of humans.

On the occasion of World Heart Day, JRC releases Available for free.Knowledge base In describing 449 non-animal models It is used for the research of cardiovascular diseases. These innovative models are proving themselves as better options for reshaping human physiology and functionality with the aim of advancing research to combat cardiovascular diseases.

Personalized and inexpensive models

The most important non-animal models are based on computer simulations In silicon methods. By bringing together the power of biology, physics, mathematics and modern computing platforms, you can reproduce the properties of complex physiological systems. Calibrated and validated using human clinical data, this new generation of models can be personalized according to specific patient profiles.

New experimental models based on cells and tissues are also driving increasing application. In vitro methods.

Organ-on-a-chip devices have emerged to meet the need for human-relevant models that represent more complex electrophysiological, biomechanical, and pathological aspects of the human cardiovascular system.

A disease that is mostly preventable

In addition to their societal impact, cardiovascular diseases are a major health and economic burden. For example, in 2015, the general estimate The cost associated with such diseases was €210 billion.

However, most cardiovascular diseases are actually preventable. Smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, stress and air pollution are the most common preventable risks.

limit of Trans fatty acids Our food is a good example of how health promotion in EU policy can reduce the risk of heart disease. The link between industrially-produced trans fatty acids and the risk of heart disease was well known. In response, the EU has introduced a new legal limit that comes into force in April 2021.

in the Introduction to the knowledge of the commissionAccess to reliable, independent, evidence-based and up-to-date information and information on how to prevent non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

More information

The JRC’s European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Diagnostic Options (EURL ECVAM) has launched a series of studies to evaluate non-animal models used for research in seven disease areas: respiratory diseases, breast cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, immuno-oncology, immunoassays for drug therapy products. , Cardiovascular Diseases and Autoimmunity.

Related links

Technical report and executive summary on cardiovascular disease

ALURES – Animal Use Reporting, EU statistical database on the use of animals for scientific purposes

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