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Difference Between In Vivo and In Vitro

In Vivo vs In Vitro

Experiments are the methods that are used in scientific studies to aid in comparing two competing explanations of certain phenomena such as those that are found in certain scientific areas like biology wherein observations are made through testing and experiments.
In biology, the term “in situ” means that the examination and observation of a rare occurrence takes place where it occurs. Subjects are examined in position and are not moved to another tool or channel. An example is the observation of dolphins at sea. They are observed where they are found and are not moved to an aquarium or other container which is more convenient.
In cell science, in situ can mean something in between in vivo and in vitro. “In vivo” is a Latin word which means “within the living.” It is the experiment or observations done on the living tissue of the whole living organism in a controlled environment.
In vivo experiments are done in the organism’s natural environment or in the organism itself. It is done in a living organism and not in a dead or partial one. It is found to be more suited on experiments done on organisms that are alive.
One example is clinical testing or a clinical trial which can be a controlled testing of a new drug or device on human subjects. The subjects are given the drugs and are observed for a certain period of time. Another is animal testing which is an experiment which is done on animals usually rats, birds, frogs, and other animals.
It varies in duration from short-term and up to a lifetime exposure. In vivo experiments tend to be more expensive to do and are subject to several restrictions because it deals with live animals.
“In vitro,” on the other hand, is a Latin word that means “within the glass.” It is the experiment or observations done on the tissue outside of the living organism in a controlled environment, usually using Petri dishes and test tubes.
Most experiments in cellular biology are done through in vitro studies and are not conducted in the organism’s natural environment or inside a living organism. This results in the limited success of the experiments in simulating the actual conditions inside an organism and makes its outcome less precise. Compared to in vivo experiments, it is less expensive and provides quicker results.


1.In vivo is an experiment or testing that is done inside the living organism or in its natural environment while in vitro is an experiment that is done outside of the living organism, usually in a test tube or Petri dish.
2.In vivo testing is more expensive and time consuming than in vitro testing which provides quicker results.
3.While most biological experiments are done in vitro, it is less precise than experiments done in vivo because it does not simulate the actual conditions inside the organism.
4.In vivo experiments and testing have many restrictions because it deals with live animals while in vitro does not.

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  1. Nice respond in return of this issue with solid arguments and explaining everything concerning that.

  2. This article provides clarity on a subject my son and I were just discussing. In the spirit of proper terminology, consider replacing “less precise” with “less accurate” in your summary, item #3. Precision concerns the discrepancy between multiple data points whereas accuracy concerns the discrepancy between the data and the true value. In vitro measurements are less accurate because they don’t address all of the confounding characteristics in a biological system.

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