Testing of novel peritoneal dialysis fluids (PDF) requires evidence of relevant drug action on different levels before it may be used in patients, it has to be investigated in cell culture and in animal models. The model, which I use to study PDF and novel interventions, is a primary mesothelial cell model, where the cells are derived from omentum specimens obtained from patients undergoing surgery. And it seems, our surgeons have the same schedule as those in Poznan Â as Andras blogged here (http://www.eutripd.eu/tissue_culture/) before, there is one thing you can be sure off Â a piece of omentum on Friday afternoon. These cells are cultured until confluence and then I perform different assays to test PDF with different additives and conditions.
In order to work in accordance with ethical guidelines and good laboratory practice, for research on material of human or animal origin, it is necessary to have a vote by a local ethics committee, which allows one to carry out experiments. Sometimes somebody else did the work and the needed vote is already available in the institution, but then it can happen that the vote expires or does not cover every aspect of a study and one has to reapply. Due to changes in the regulation on surplus biological material, we had to write such an ethics proposal for our work with omentum derived primary cells. The process of application to the local ethics committee is running in local language, which means scientific German in my case, and not only therefore it took some time and efforts. As for a grant application, the online submission is always tricky and the forms that have to be filled seem to be a separate research discipline. An ethics vote is also required for further phases of drug studies: for animal studies and especially clinical studies. The first of which will be one of the next steps in my project, however, with completely new set of documents, laws and regulations. So I hope, after my previous experience in writing ethics applications, that it works faster the second time I do it.