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Consortium including University of Twente will work on the replacement, refinement and reduction of animal use (3Rs) in rheumatoid arthritis research

A proposal of a consortium consisting of University of Twente, Amsterdam University Medical Centre, CYBERDYNE INC, Harvard Medical School, and CYBERDYNE Europe GmbH, using LED-based photoacoustic imaging technology was selected by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) for Phase 1 of their CRACK-IT RaTS challenge.

NC3Rs has announced a funding of £99,360 for the European partners of this consortium. In Phase 1 of the competition, three teams have each been awarded funding to deliver proof-of-concept projects. Winners of Phase 1 will have the opportunity to apply for Phase 2 where a contract worth up to £1 million will be awarded to one research team. 

The aim of this challenge is to develop and validate a handheld device for objective monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression in conscious small animals. Dr. Mithun Kuniyil Ajith Singh (CYBERDYNE Europe Gmbh) will coordinate and lead this project in close collaboration with Prof. Wiendelt Steenbergen (Biomedical Photonic Imaging Group, University of Twente), Dr. Francis Kalloor Joseph (Biomedical Photonic Imaging Group, University of Twente),  Dr. J. van der Laken (Department of Rheumatology, Amsterdam University Medical Centre), and Dr. Srivalleesha Mallidi (Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School).