Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Nick Zwart

Date: 18 January 2019
Location: Amsterdam

Dissertation title: 

Miniaturization of in vitro bioassays for high throughput Effect-Directed Analysis

Group: VU University Amsterdam, Environment and Health
Supervisors: Dr Marja Lamoree, Dr Timo Hamers, Dr Corine Houtman
Promotor: Prof Jacob de Boer

Extra information:


The release of pollutants into the environment exposes humans, plant- and wildlife to potentially hazardous compounds which affect the health of individuals and development of their offspring. In order to reduce the expulsion of pollutants into the environment and prevent exposure, sources such as waste water as well as surface water which serves as drinking water need to be monitored closely. However, currently employed Effect- Directed Analysis (EDA) methods, which determines the presence of toxins through screening their biological activity, are labor intensive, low throughput and unfit for routine analysis. This study partakes in a project focused on the development of a high-throughput EDA platform for the rapid and cost-effective screening of environmental samples and will be performed in collaboration with second group. The goal of the current study is to modify existing bioassays for mutagenicity and endocrine disruption to be compatible with a high resolution fractionation setup. This setup separates environmental samples into fractions of individual pollutants and will be developed in parallel by a collaborating group. The assays will be miniaturized to 384 or 1536 well formats to allow analysis of all fractions in a single run. The resulting platform will allow for the rapid detection and identification of the mutagenic and/or endocrine disruptive effect of single compounds in environmental samples in a high-throughput fashion.