In vitro lung model

The human lung is the main portal of entry for aerosolized nanomaterials, therefore the fundamental understanding of the interaction of those particles with lung cells is of great interest In the field of human health, animal testing is still the most prevalent model used for risk assessment, study of diseases and new drug development. There is an urgent need to establish realistic and well accepted in vitro alternatives also in regard to reduce, refine and replace (3R) animal experimentation. A human epithelial airway and alveolar tissue model has been established by culturing epithelial cells, macrophages and dendritic cells in a so called "triple cell co-culture model". It has been shown that model mimics the lung tissue barrier in terms of its functional relevance in vivo and that the cell-cell interactions in this multicellular system allow a predictive in vitro screening compared to simple mono-cultures


Principal investigator

Involved people

External partners

Dr. Fabian Blank

Department for Clinical Research, University of Bern

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