Ticino is exploring new avenues for biomedical research

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Biomedical research relies heavily on animal models, such as rodents and the like, thanks to which it is possible to study the effect of a specific protein, gene or molecule of interest in the onset and progression of a disease. While animal models offer the advantage of representing a complete organism, they also have limitations related to biological diversity between species as well as ethical concerns.

The search for alternative models is becoming increasingly important and heading in two different directions: "in vitro" models that use cultured cells in the laboratory, and "in silico" models that rely on computer simulation and data analysis methods. Research in this field is very active in Ticino, thanks to the collaboration between various institutions such as the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana, the Translational Research Laboratories of the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale and the BIOS+ research institutes (IRB and IOR) in Bellinzona.

Matteo Moretti , Professor at USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Group Leader at EOC Translational Research Laboratories, took stock of the situation in the article " Innovative research on alternative models to animals " published in the newspaper laRegione.