Photonics Dictionary

in vivo

In vivo is a Latin term that translates to "within the living." In scientific contexts, particularly in biology and medicine, it refers to experiments or observations conducted within a living organism.

In vivo studies involve the investigation of biological processes, responses to treatments, or the effects of interventions in intact organisms. This can include studies in animals such as mice, rats, rabbits, or non-human primates, as well as in humans. In vivo experiments allow researchers to observe how biological systems function in their natural context, including interactions between different organs and tissues, responses to environmental stimuli, and the effects of genetic or physiological variations.

In vivo studies play a crucial role in biomedical research, as they provide insights into the complex interactions and dynamics of living organisms that cannot be fully replicated in vitro (in controlled laboratory environments). They are used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new drugs, investigate disease mechanisms, develop therapeutic interventions, and understand physiological processes in health and disease.

While in vivo experiments offer valuable insights, they also present ethical considerations and practical challenges, including issues related to animal welfare, variability between individuals, and the complexity of biological systems. As a result, in vivo studies are often complemented by in vitro experiments conducted in isolated cells or tissues, as well as computational modeling approaches, to provide a comprehensive understanding of biological phenomena.
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