DZF-Project: Karim R. Sultan

Implementation of in vitro techniques in courses on laboratory animal science

Dr. vet. med. Karim R. Sultan

2000-2001: Dept. of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht

Current Address: Dep. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-II: Molecular Cell Biology, Center of Experimental Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany


Keywords: Cell culture laboratory; Principles of cell culture techniques; Course participants perform their own experiments

Begin and End of the Project: June 2000 - November 2001

Background and Aim

Background: Many students who take part in a course on laboratory animal science have no experience with cell culture or other in vitro techniques. As part of the topic “animal alternatives” it is essential that the basic aspects in theory and especially the practical experience of these techniques are integrated in such a course.

Aim: The intention was to set up a practical course suited for a larger number (10-20) of students / scientists performing cell culture techniques (for about 4 hours), which can be integrated easily in courses on laboratory animal science.

Methods and Results

First the topic was introduced by theory in a 1-2 h lecture. Then the participants were introduced to the set-up of a cell culture lab, and they started with the basics of cell culture and its handling by the “learning by doing” strategy.  Later on they performed an experiment of their interest, which was then evaluated in a collective discussion at a third appointment.

Conclusions and Relevance for 3R

A strict schedule plan allowed implementation of in vitro techniques in routine courses on laboratory animal science. The partition to three sections (theory, practical work and evaluation of experiments) allowed integrating this course easily into the other activities of laboratory animal courses. The practical work and the performance of own experiments in a real cell culture laboratory lead to intensive impressions and therefore enhanced the input of cell culture as an alternative to animal experiments.