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High throughput and miniaturised systems for biodegradability assessments


The society demands safer products with a better ecological profile. Regulatory criteria have been developed to prevent risks for human health and the environment, for example, within the framework of the European regulation REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907, 2006). This has driven industry to consider the development of high throughput screening methodologies for assessing chemical biodegradability. These new screening methodologies must be scalable for miniaturisation, reproducible and as reliable as existing procedures for enhanced biodegradability assessment. Here, we evaluate two alternative systems that can be scaled for high throughput screening and conveniently miniaturised to limit costs in comparison with traditional testing. These systems are based on two dyes as follows: an invasive fluorescent dyes that serves as a cellular activity marker (a resazurin-like dye reagent) and a noninvasive fluorescent oxygen optosensor dye (an optical sensor). The advantages and limitations of these platforms for biodegradability assessment are presented. Our results confirm the feasibility of these systems for evaluating and screening chemicals for ready biodegradability. The optosensor is a miniaturised version of a component already used in traditional ready biodegradability testing, whereas the resazurin dye offers an interesting new screening mechanism for chemical concentrations greater than 10 mg/l that are not amenable to traditional closed bottle tests. The use of these approaches allows generalisation of high throughput screening methodologies to meet the need of developing new compounds with a favourable ecological profile and also assessment for regulatory purpose.

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Correspondence to Gérald Thouand.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

This short communication is submitted for publication in the special issue dedicated to biodegradation.

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Cregut, M., Jouanneau, S., Brillet, F. et al. High throughput and miniaturised systems for biodegradability assessments. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 9545–9552 (2014).

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  • Biodegradation
  • Ready biodegradability test
  • Biodegradability assessment
  • Optical sensor
  • Resazurin dye reagent