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Selecting the Appropriate Animal Model for Medical Device Testing

April 27, 2015

Selecting the appropriate animal model for medical device testing will be one of the most important decisions made during the period of study design. The animal model selected should be as representative as possible to the target patient population. The selection process requires thorough knowledge of each species anatomy and physiology. It is equally as important to understand how each species is similar and/or different to your target patient population. A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, NCBI, Toxline and DTIC of previous research and non-animal alternatives will aid during the design and selection process.

The following can impact choosing the appropriate animal model for device testing in a preclinical research setting:

  • What type of device is being tested?
  • How similar is the anatomy, physiology and disease state to the target patient population?

Depending on the device being evaluated, often times this may exclude certain animal models based on anatomy, physiology and intended delivery of the device.

The animal to human relationship and how the size of the medical device and its intended delivery and implant location may determine which animal can be used. Preclinical safety evaluation of a transcatheter aortic valve replacement will require a large animal model to implant the device as intended for clinical use. In this case, a sheep or swine will be the most appropriate choice of animal model based on the similarities of the heart in these animals compared to humans. In addition, the size of the device and its intended delivery and implantation location makes these animals an appropriate choice. The rabbit would not be an appropriate animal model choice for this device as the anatomy of this species will not allow for the delivery and implantation of the device as intended.

American Preclinical Services employs scientific experts across multiple disciplines of preclinical research. We have a catalogue of animal models of disease in multiple animal species. Contact us today to find out why APS should be your guiding preclinical partner.