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On October 12th, 2023, Peter Loskill was awarded the prestigious Herbert Stiller Prize by the German association “Ärzte gegen Tierversuche e.V.” for his breast cancer-on-chip model made exclusively from animal-free components.

In the rapidly evolving field of organ-on-chip models, there is increasing effort to establish systems that not only rely on human cells but also contain non-animal-derived products. The development and application of such in vitro models are particularly challenging, as organoid and tissue cultures still largely depend on the addition and use of animal-derived supplements.

With the aim of developing novel breast cancer therapies, Peter Loskill, along with his international and interdisciplinary µOrganoLab team, has established an innovative microphysiological breast cancer-on-chip model. The research team uses human tumor organoids embedded in an artificial hydrogel that mimics the natural microenvironment of cells in the body. This hydrogel is surrounded by human adipose tissue, making this model not only a promising platform for in vivo testing, but also aiming to eliminate animal components in in vitro research.

Human-relevant in vitro cancer models hold great potential for biomedical research and the advanced development of effective therapy approaches. Peter Loskill’s pioneering approach has now been recognized by the association “Ärzte gegen Tierversuche e.V.” with the prestigious Herbert Stiller Prize, endowed with € 20,000, which is awarded every two years for human-relevant research without animal testing.

The award ceremony took place on October 12, 2022, at the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute in Reutlingen.

The recognition of the importance of research conducted by the µOrganoLab and the 3R-Center Tübingen underscores the need for such human-centered research and the significance of advanced in vitro models as replacement and complementary methods to animal testing, and ultimately for the development of new medical therapies.