In vivo and in vitro testing are two of the most common methods for studying and testing organisms. While similar, each type of testing has its advantages and disadvantages. In vivo studies are those done on living organisms such as humans, animals, or even plants in their natural state rather than on samples taken from one of these living subjects. On the opposite end is in vitro testing which is done on microorganisms and tissues taken from living samples. In vitro testing is often used when studying a piece of an organism not in its natural state, such as cells or tissues in a petri dish or test tube. This type of testing allows for a more detailed analysis of the organism being studied.
Two common types of in vivo tests are clinical trials and studies done on animal subjects. This type of testing is often preferential to in vitro because it allows researchers to study and observe the overall effects of the experiment on all aspects of the subject. Benefits are easily observed when performing in vivo studies.
In vitro testing is preferred in situations when an analysis of the entire organism is not needed, or just when data pertaining to a specific species is needed. In vitro studies also simplify what systems or parts of an organism need to be examined and studies allowing the researcher to concentrate on one specific thing.
Pitfalls of in vitro experiments are that it can be easy for data to be misinterpreted and lead to generalizations being made about an organism as the effects on the entire organism may not be made known. Another problem with in vitro testing is that some tissues don’t grow well in petri dishes or test tubes. This can make them hard to study, or cause obscure results that are hard to replicate.
The major disadvantage of using in vivo testing methods is due to the fact that results obtained from studies performed on animals do not always produce the same results in humans. Ethical issues are also to not be overlooked when performing in vivo studies.
In vivo and in vitro test requests received by Contract Laboratory
- FDA cGMP preclinical Contract Research Organization CRO needed for in vitro and in vivo anti-ulcer activity study of an oral solid dosage pharmaceutical drug product.
- Toxicology laboratory needed for in vitro and in vivo toxicity testing for new chemical registration under TSCA; Toxic Substances Control Act
- University researchers needs Contract Research Organization to conduct in vivo study of ability of drug product to decrease the side-effects of alcohol consumption in an animal model through neutralization of acetaldehyde.
- Chemical toxicology laboratory
- needed for two in vivo OECD toxicity studies of consumer air deodorizer and disinfectant supplied in Tyvek pouch. Studies must be performed to OECD 403 Acute Inhalation Toxicity of Chemicals in rodent models and OECD 402 Acute Dermal Toxicity of Chemicals in rodent models. Studies are being performed to support changes to the DOT 6.1 classification under transportation restrictions.
- Veterinary Contract Research Organization CRO needed for in vivo dermatology efficacy study of OTC shampoo in treatment of atopic dermatitis and allergic pruritis (not associated with fleas or ticks) in canine subjects.
- Veterinary toxicology laboratory needed for in vivo (canine) ingestion toxicity, oral toxicity, acute dermal toxicity, and dermal irritation studies on OTC topical treatment for canine atopic dermatitis. Ingestion / oral toxicity is of concern due to potential for the animal to ingest the product after application.
- Preclinical Contract Research Organization CRO needed for an in vivo osteoinductivity study of a biologic product in an athymic rodent model. Endotoxin, residual calcium, and residual moisture analysis also needed.
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