Scientists invent animal-free testing of lethal neurotoxins

Scientists invent animal-free testing of lethal neurotoxins

29 October 2019
News
Animal testing will no longer be required to assess a group of deadly neurotoxins, thanks to University of Queensland-led research.

Associate Professor Bryan Fry, of UQ’s Venom Evolution Lab, said a new technique could replace conventional methods of testing paralytic neurotoxins, which previously required euthanasia of test subjects.

“The old method, while extremely efficient, is limited in that it’s slow and requires the euthanisation of animals in order to obtain the necessary tissue,” Dr Fry said.

“Our new method uses optical probes dipped into a solution containing the venoms and we measure the binding to these probes – the critical factor – by analysing changes in the light reflected back.

“It’s going to reduce the numbers of animals used for research testing, but it also has significant biomedical implications.”