Animal-free in vitro technologies

The quality, consistency of formulation, and lack of validation of reagents used in scientific research has been identified as a major contributing factor to poor reproducibility [1]. Many of these reagents such as antibodies and fetal bovine serum are derived from animals, raising scientific and animal welfare concerns. There is a concerted effort across the biosciences to adopt human-based in vitro assays to replace animal models where possible and increase the predictivity of preclinical research [2]. However, the use of animal-derived reagents in these assays brings into question the validity, utility and robustness of these approaches and presents a barrier to their more widespread adoption.

The technology now exists to replace many of these animal-derived reagents with animal-free products. This resource provides information and guidance for adopting animal-free reagents both within individual laboratories and, in the long-term, whole institutions to deliver improved science, increased reproducibility and reduced animal use. Find out more about each animal-free technology using the categories below.

We also support novel approaches to develop and implement animal-free in vitro reagents through our Research Funding schemes and Innovation Platform.


  1. Freedman LP, Venugopalan G, Wisman R (2017). Reproducibility2020: progress and priorities. F1000Research 6: 604. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11334.1
  2. BioIndustry Association and Medicines Discovery Catapult (2018). State of the Discovery Nation 2018 and the role of the Medicines Discovery Catapult. 2018.