A research model is a scientific entity chosen to aid one’s experimentations and research and to collect data. In research, the right models allow for an improved understanding of the human patho-physiocological processes, without the additional risk of harming a real human being. As the government guidelines for animal care upsurge in number and complexity, and animal-rights activists continue to push for reduced usage of animals for research, more and more laboratories are turning towards processes associated with tissue and cell culture for biological research. Both models- animals as well as cellular-can provide answers to physiological questions. Nevertheless, any data gained in isolated tissue experiments, sooner or later, must be evaluated in the whole animal, wherein numerous factors network to regulate physiological mechanisms.
In this regard, the current write-up will help you understand various factors you should consider while choosing the right model for your research work.
- Factors you should consider when choosing the right model for your research
When one starts a research project, the first question that hits the mind is -What kind of research model do I need, that can adhere to my research aim?
Thus, opting for the right research model is one of the most vital factors that can make or break one’s research venture. Given below are factors to consider when deciding upon a research model:
- Research objective
Chalk out your research objectives. Reflect on what your research project requires to achieve success, which in turn will help you agree on a research model. One particular question you need to ponder upon is whether is it essential to learn all the information in one go or is follow-up research required? If you have a framework of the info you need, when the research project is concluded, you will be able to choose and use the right model.
This is a major factor in the research field. It’s important to make do with what is available. With huge funding choosing a model is relatively easy but when the funds are limited, your options are limited too. For example- when one is experimenting/ developing different drug compounds, it’s a plausible scenario that one has to test the drugs on hundreds of samples and it can get mighty expensive to do it on animal models. Thus, to narrow the testing parameters, one can always test the compound on cells.
- Sample count
While bearing in mind a research methodology, the sample count is a significant consideration. Taking the above-mentioned example again- if a drug compound is to be tested, it’s a basic requirement that one has to test it numerous times. Thus, animal models may not be available as per requirement but cells are easily available. Thus, it’s important to identify the aim of your research and estimate a sample count.
Time availability is another vital aspect that comes into play at the time of deciding on the research model. Using animal models takes considerable time; it typically requires one whole day to experiment. If results are needed within a specific time frame, one might contemplate using organ or tissue culture cells as when compared with animal models, one can usually run multiple samples simultaneously in a shorter time.
Animal Models vs. Cellular models- PROS and CONS
- Animal testing subsidizes life-saving therapies and treatments
- Animal testing is vital to guarantee that vaccines are safe
- There is no suitable substitute to testing on a living, whole-body system
- Animals are apt research subjects since they are similar to human beings in numerous ways
- Animals must be used in cases when moral considerations avert the use of human subjects
- Animals themselves profit from the results of animal testing
- Animal testing is cruel and painful
- It’s costlier
- Alternative testing methods exist that can substitute the need for animals
- Drugs that pass animal tests are not certainly safe
- Animal tests might cause researchers into overlooking potential medications and treatments
- It’s inexpensive No harm caused to any living being
- The physio-chemical atmosphere in the culture such as pH and temperature can be precisely regulated.
- Better stimulation of conditions in a living organism
- Better storage properties i.e., cells can be cryopreserved for a very long time
- Interaction between different types of cells can be studied more efficiently
- Easier cell observation and measurement
- Represent the exact genetic as well as phenotypic nature of human tissues
- Isolation of primary cells from a particular tissue is a tedious process and requires thorough expertise.
- Upholding a sterile aseptic condition is a task in itself
- Difficult to find out primary cell source of the same genetic makeup
Why is it always advisable to go for a cellular-based system such as primary cells, before trying on in vivo animal models?
Traditional laboratory animal models are extremely inadequate when mimicking a human disorder or predicting the human body’s response to potential drugs, is required. (https://bit.ly/2Ux4XGm)