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Cardiovascular diseases

In this study we identified and characterised 449 current and emerging non-animal models used in cardiovascular disease research domain.

The study

We analysed the scientific literature published between 2013 and 2019 and selected 449 publications that used advanced non-animal models for cardiovascular disease research.

In vitro cell and tissue cultures, human ex vivo and in silico approaches were considered.

The outcome of the study comprises:

  • Knowledge base

It contains detailed descriptions of 449 non-animal models being used for testing immunogenicity in cardiovascular diseases. It is easily downloadable as a spreadsheet file from the EURL ECVAM collection in the JRC Data Catalogue.

  • Technical report

A technical report that provides an in-depth analysis of the models identified and of the review methodology used.

  • Executive summary

We also provided an executive summary to give an overview of the study and the main results.

Key findings

  • The study confirmed that cell-based models represent fine-tuned approaches, however most of the time they intrinsically lack in three -dimensional structure, except for the growing, yet specific field of cardiovascular tissue engineered constructs.

  • The ex vivo methods are used to overcome the dimensionality limitation, while maintaining the required experimental accuracy. Nevertheless, most of the analysed ex vivo models use animal or human explanted organs, with the difficulty in maintaining their integrity for a long time.

  • Beyond the purely haemodynamic applications offered by computational fluid-dynamics approaches, the computational methods are used to reproduce complex systems, including tissue/organ electrophysiology and tissue remodelling, potentially enabling personalised medicine approaches.