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Toxicity profiling (in vitro, in vivo assays and omics)

Expert Group Meeting: Toxicity profiling (in vitro, in vivo assays and omics): the state of the art and the perspectives
9 October 2009 - Amstedam, the Netherlands

A toxicity profile is a toxicological "fingerprint" of a sample ranging from a pure compound to a complex mixture, obtained by testing the sample or its extract for its activity towards a battery of biological endpoints. The application of batteries of bioassays / biomarkers (e.g. in vitro, in vivo bioassays, and omics), in combination with statistical clustering methods, is used to provide toxicity profiles of environmental matrices (e.g. sediments) to assess the risks of environmental pollution. This approach can provide specific information on the mode of actions of substances in samples (location-specific toxicity profile), and toxicity profiles between locations can be compared and clustered (locations with same toxicity profiles). In combination with TIE/EDA approaches, this technique can allow the identification of the toxicants that are causing the observed effects. Toxicity profiles can also be transformed to hazard profiles by linking e.g. in vitro to in vivo and field effects OR between "hot-spots" and reference locations. The different approaches to toxicity profiling will provide information on the water quality of locations and are a useful tool for decision-makers to manage e.g. river systems.

On 9 October 2009, the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) hosted an Expert Group meeting in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to determine the common position of a group of diverse experts on the tool of Toxicity Profiling and its possible applications. Items that were discussed included methods involved in toxicity profiling, design and representativeness of the test battery, prognostic versus diagnostic use of toxicity profiling, and future perspectives.

As an outcome of this meeting, a paper on Expert Opinion on Toxicity Profiling – Report from a NORMAN Expert Group Meeting" was published in 2012 in the Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management Journal (IEAM) (Integr Environ Assess Manag. 2013 Apr;9(2):185-91. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1395. Epub 2013 Feb 19).

This activity is linked with the work done by the NORMAN Working Group 2 on Bioassays and biomarkers in water quality monitoring.

Organiser: IVM Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL)
contact : Timo Hamers
List of participants




Friday, 9 October 2009