Cartilage-on-a-chip shortlisted for animal free science prize

Arthritis is one of the commonest causes of disability in the Western world. Yet treatment options remain limited. One likely reason for this is that drug testing for solutions has, to date, remained focused on using animals (mainly mice).

With all drug discovery tests on animals now recording a failure rate of nearly 96%, increasing numbers of scientists are turning to using human-cells-on-chips in order to find more human-relevant results.

As a result of this, the organ-on-a-chip industry has become worth more than $3 billion and is growing fast.

Lush Prize is the largest global prize fund supporting initiatives to end animal testing. Today it announced its shortlist for the 2022 prize, which included a young scientist from the University of Twente in the Netherlands working on a first-of-its-kind cartilage-on-a-chip model.

It is amazing to see how fast organ on a chip solutions are spreading around the world. From just one or two of our prize applications five years ago to nearly 30% of all our science applications now, the industry has exploded. This year’s shortlist includes people working on placenta-on-a chip, lungs-on-a chip, and gut-microbiome-on-a-chip too.

Rob Harrison, Lush Prize team

In total, 65 projects from 24 countries have been shortlisted including projects from India, China, Germany, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Brazil, South Korea, Turkiye/Turkey, the UK and the USA.

Also shortlisted are organisations lobbying for the FDA Modernization Act, a bill in the USA that eliminates the requirement that all new drugs must be tested on animals for regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives.

The new Political Achievement Award, a non-financial prize recognising the work of elected politicians to replace animal resting with humane and human-relevant research sees shortlisted politicians from South Korean, Sweden and Luxembourg.

Notes to editors


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Lush Prize was founded in 2012 in the UK with a goal of helping to bring forward the date when no further product safety testing on animals was required. It is a collaboration between the campaigning cosmetics company Lush and the campaigning research group Ethical Consumer.
The £250,000 prize fund is the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector, and is the only award to focus solely on the complete replacement of animal tests.
It its now in its eighth prize cycle.

The full shortlist can be found at

Countries with the highest number of nominations shortlisted are: USA x 11; Germany x 10; UK x 9; Netherlands x 6; S Korea x 4

The Prize categories
Public Awareness: public awareness-raising of on going testing
Science: for the development of replacement non-animal tests
Training: training researchers in non-animal tests
Lobbying: policy interventions to promote the use of replacements
Young Researcher: to researchers under 35 years old specialising in animal replacement research

About Lush:

Lush is a campaigning manufacturer and retailer of fresh handmade cosmetics with shops in 49 countries. The Lush Prize is one element in a broader campaign called ‘Fighting Animal Testing’.

About Ethical Consumer:

Ethical Consumer Research Association is a not-for-profit research co-operative specialising in independent research into social, animal welfare and environmental issues.

Every year, it is estimated that more than 115-127 million animals are used in testing laboratories around the world.

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