Reproducibility in preclinical research may be low because of the high prevalence of biases and of suboptimal research practices (such as biased allocation of experimental groups, experimenter bias and lack of necessary controls, the use of uncharacterized materials, poor use of statistics, poor scientific training, etc.). Several evaluations have shown that most preclinical studies are too small, which increases the chances of false-negative and false-positive results and of exaggerated conclusions.
In this Perspective, the authors discuss special manifestations of these problems in nanomedicine and in cell therapy and describe mitigating strategies. Progress on reducing bias and enhancing reproducibility early on ought to enhance the translational potential of biomedical findings and technologies. The authors conclude that conformity to better research-practice criteria should not be a doctrinaire impediment to scientific work, but a facilitator of efficient clinical translation.