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The Journal


Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Primary Human Tissue Culture


While many permanent cell lines exist that are derived from human and animal tissue, many are a poor model for cellular function in vivo. Most if not all have lost vital components of their signal transduction and metabolic pathways which renders them of limited value in replacing primary animal tissues and cells for research.


The FAL (FRAME ALternatives Laboratory) specialises in the isolation and culture of cells derived from primary human tissue, obtained with rigorous ethical approval from patients undergoing surgery or from healthy volunteers.


Perfusion apparatus (left) for maintaining human liver cells (hepatocytes; right) in culture

cell perfusion rig



Given that the purpose of the majority of medical and pharmaceutical research is aimed at understanding the effects of drugs and the mechanisms of disease in humans, primary human cell culture is undoubtedly the most appropriate model for meaningful research.


Differentiated human myotubes (left) and human skeletal muscle satellite cells (right)

human myotubes

human muscle cells











Current research in the FAL is centred on production and characterisation of cells from human liver and human skeletal muscle.