Biomedical Science student awarded summer studentship researching animal alternatives

Rachele Bacchetti 500

Current BSc Biomedical Science student, Rachele Bacchetti has been awarded a summer studentship with The Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME).

Rachele is one of just two students who were successful in securing the competitive summer research project placements thanks to her winning project idea, which has the aim of advancing techniques, knowledge or methods that will help lead to the reduction and replacement of animals in research.

This summer, Rachele will be working on the development of a synthetic skin model to test the efficacy of therapeutic ultrasound in skin healing.

Poor healing is one of the greatest healthcare challenges, as associated risk factors include age, obesity and diabetes. Poor healing can lead to the development of chronic wounds that are extremely painful, and in some cases can lead to limb amputation and so better understanding and treatments of chronic wounds are important to enhance patient quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.

Rachele said: “One potential therapy being used in my supervisor’s laboratory is the application of high frequency ultrasound to accelerate skin healing. Small scale mouse studies have demonstrated that ultrasound is effective but scoping for optimal parameters would require animal use on a huge scale. Therefore, this project will investigate a potential in vitro 3D model that will replace the use of mice on the investigation stages.”

FRAME Scientific Liaison Officer, Amy Beale, added: “FRAME believes in the development of better scientific methods for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment and our aim is the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals in any kind of medical or scientific procedures. As part of this mission, FRAME is committed to educating and supporting research scientists of the future.

“The Summer Studentship projects have the potential to not only reduce the number of animals used in research, but also develop models that may replace the need to use animals in certain areas of research.”