Archive Department News
Our collaborator Dr. Peta Neale and her work in the EU project SOLUTIONS was featured in the Daily Newspaper “The Australian” https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education.
Dr. Neale continues to collaborate with our department through her consultant company PNEC: Peta Neale Environmental Consulting.
A key paper for the understanding of the fate of chemicals in cell-based bioassays and their uptake into cells has just been published in "Chemical Research in Toxicology". Fabian Fischer showed, that uptake of neutral and ionised organics is sufficiently fast that bioassays with 24h exposure can be considered to have continuous constant exposure unless metabolism leads to depletion.
Since June 1, 2018, Theo Wernicke has been a PhD student in our department. He deals with the topic "Passive sampling as a biomimetic proxy of the internal exposure of fish".
Jungeun Lee from South Korea joined our team on 1 August 2018 to do a PhD project on the development of neurotoxicity assays for environmental quality monitoring.
Welcome to the team Jungeun and Theo!
The collaborative research centre 1253 CAMPOS (https://www.uni-tuebingen.de/en/research/core-research/collaborative-research-centers/sfb-1253.html) harvests its first fruits: The PhD student Max Müller has published a study on the pollutant burden in the Ammer river. The Celltox bioassay lab has contributed all bioanalytical investigation to this study.
Müller ME, Escher BI, Schwientek M, Werneburg M, Zarfl C, Zwiener C. 2018. Combining in vitro reporter gene bioassays with chemical analysis to assess changes in the water quality along the Ammer River, Southwestern Germany. Environmental Science Europe 30:20.
link to: https://rdcu.be/0iv2
We lead a team of researchers from the EU project SOLUTIONS and the NORMAN network who developed a method to derive effect-based trigger values by read across from existing environmental quality standards of the Water Framework Directive of the EU. These triggers will be essential for the application of effect-based methods for water quality assessment because they allow to differentiate acceptable from unacceptable water quality. The numerical EBT are preliminary, more work is required to improve the database for their derivation, but already now they are serving in research projects for monitoring purposes.Escher, B.I., Ait-Aissa, S., Behnisch, P.A., Brack, W., Brion, F., Brouwer, A., Buchinger, S., Crawford, S., Hamers, T.H.M., Hettwer, K., Hilscherova, K., Hollert, H., Kase, R., Kienle, C., Legradi, J., Tuerk, J., van der Oost, R., Vermeirssen, E. and Neale, P.N. (2018). Effect-based trigger values for in vitro and in vivo bioassays performed on surface water extracts supporting the environmental quality standards (EQS) of the European Water Framework Directive. Science of the Total Environment, 628-629: 748-765.
link to https://www.sciencedirect.com
The Brief Review article "Reducing Uncertainty and Confronting Ignorance about the Possible Impacts of Weathering Plastic in the Marine Environment" in Environmental Science & Technology Letters was selected by the journal's editors as one of the Best Papers in 2017! Congratulations Dr. Annika Jahnke. (Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2017, 4 (3), 85−90 DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00008).
We have teamed with Veolia Research and Innovation to investigate the water quality of Parisian drinking water. The low levels of disinfection byproducts were below any level of concern. Mixture toxicity modelling showed volatile DBPs had a minor contribution to effect. We were able to differentiate between effects of micropollutants from source water and effects from formed DPBs.
Hebert A, Felier C, Lecarpentier C, Neale P, Schlichting R, Thibert S, Escher B. 2018.
Bioanalytical assessment of adaptive stress responses in drinking water as a tool to differentiate between micropollutants and disinfection by-products. Water Res:revised version submitted October 2018.
Link to https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004313541731093X
DoCE (Dosing for Controlled Exposure) – ‘Dosing strategies for characterising in vitro dose-responses with increased relevance for in vivo extrapolation’
Three teams have been awarded funding to carry out Phase 1 proof-of-concept studies*. Sponsored by Unilever and Shell, this Two Phase Challenge aims to establish improved methods and approaches to better account for bioavailability in vitro to enable robust QIVIVE.
Congratulations Dr. Luise Henneberger!
The ERC-funded project "CHEMO-RISK- Chemometers for in situ risk assessment of mixtures of pollutants" started in May, 2017, at the Department Cell Toxicology. Two postdocs, a PhD student and a technician joined the group during the last months and have started working on their respective subprojects: a) thermodynamics of bioaccumulation assessment, b) suspect screening of a broad range of environmental pollutants using GC/Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry and c) internal exposure in marine mammals. Welcome Elisa, Melis, Eva and Jörg!
Our PhD student Fabian Fischer’s first paper on an exposure model in high-throughput bioassays was featured by Chemical Research in Toxicology, with an Editor’s Choice Award and the journal title page of Issue 5: http://pubs.acs.org/toc/crtoec/30/5
Fischer, F., Henneberger, L., König, M., Bittermann, K., Linden, L., Goss, K.-U. and Escher, B. (2017). Modeling exposure in the Tox21 in vitro bioassays. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 30: 1197−1208.
An international workshop brought together a goup of scientist working in the area of environmental toxicology and ecotoxicology to discuss how mechanistic understanding of the causal links between exposure and adverse effects on human health and the environment can be improved by integrating the exposome approach with the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept. This proposal supports the IP Exposome as well is a core component of the strategic goals of the department cell toxicology.
Escher, B.I., Hackermüller, J., Polte, T., Scholz, S., Aigner, A., Altenburger, R., Böhme, A., Bopp, S.K., Brack, W., Busch, W., Chadeau-Hyam, M., Covaci, A., Eisenträger, A., Galligan, J.J., Garcia-Reyero, N., Hartung, T., Hein, M., Herberth, G., Jahnke, A., Kleinjans, J., Klüver, N., Krauss, M., Lamoree, M., Lehmann, I., Luckenbach, T., Miller, G.W., Müller, A., Phillips, D.H., Reemtsma, T., Rolle-Kampczyk, U., Schüürmann, G., Schwikowski, B., Tan, Y.-M., Trump, S., Walter-Rohde, S. and Wambaugh, J.F. (2017). From the exposome to mechanistic understanding of chemical-induced adverse effects. Environment International, 99: 97-106.
The paper can be downloaded at
The project "Paving the way for QIVIVE: from nominal to free to cellular concentrations in in vitro assays” funded by CEFIC LRI is a collaboration between our department, Dr. Nynke Kramer from Utrecht University and Prof. Philipp Mayer from Technical University of Denmark. The project was launched in February and involves Beate Escher, Luise Henneberger, Fabian Fischer and Rita Schlichting from the department Cell Toxicology.
We welcome two new members to our Celltox family: Andreas Baumer will do a PhD project and Eva Reiter will write her final report with our support.
We welcome two new members to our Celltox family: Isabel Keddi and Madlen Landmann will write their final reports with our support.
Our group is advancing the the use of polymer-based passive sampling and dosing. In the last weeks three new papers have been published that (a) outline a new approach for determination of polymer-water partition rations for superhydrophobic compounds, (b) a modified polymer with higher srptive capacity and (c) an application of the new partition constant for the determination of surfactant-water partition ratios of dioxins.
(a) Grant, S., Schacht, V., Escher, B.I., Hawker, D.W. and Gaus, C. (2016). Experimental Solubility Approach to Determine PDMS−Water Partition Constants and PDMS Activity Coefficients. Environmental Science & Technology, in press: 10.1021/acs.est.1025b04655.
(b) Durig, W., Blakey, I., Grant, S., Chambers, L., Escher, B.I., Weijs, L. and Gaus, C. (2016). New Polymer Passive Sampler for Sensitive Biomonitoring of Lipid-Rich Matrices. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 3(2): 52-56.
(c) Schacht, V., Grant, S., Escher, B.I., Hawker, D.W. and Gaus, C. (2016). Solubility enhancement of dioxins and PCBs by surfactant monomers and micelles quantified with polymer depletion techniques. Chemosphere, 152: 99-106.
This article outlines various strategies for quantifiable transfer of mixtures of organic contaminants from environmental samples into cell-based in vitro and low-complexity in vivo bioassays. We cover chemicals in water, sediment and biota processed using total extraction or polymer-based passive sampling combined with either solvent spiking or passive dosing.
Jahnke, A., Mayer P., Schäfer,S., Witt G., Haase N., Escher, B.I. (2016). Strategies for Transferring Mixtures of Organic Contaminants from Aquatic Environments into Bioassays. Environ.Sci.Technol.
The paper can be downloaded at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b04687
We have evaluated the cellular toxicity pathways of 50 structurally diverse drinking-water disinfection byproducts with a battery of reporter gene assays.
Stalter, D., O'Malley, E., von Gunten, U. and Escher, B.I. (2016). Fingerprinting the reactive toxicity pathways of 50 drinking water disinfection by-products. Water Research, 91: 19-30.
The paper can be downloaded at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043135415304450
We developed a passive dosing method which determines the sorption capacity of fat extracted from 5 species, which differ only very slightly. The paper can be downloaded at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00145, Jahnke, A., Holmbäck, J., Andersson, R.A., Kierkegaard, A., Mayer, P. and MacLeod, M. (2015). Differences between Lipids Extracted from Five Species Are Not Sufficient To Explain Biomagnification of Nonpolar Organic Chemicals. Environ. Sci. Technol. Letters, 2: 193-197.
As of 1 December 2015 we welcome a new member to the Celltox family: Luise Henneberger has started as a postdoctoral researcher. She will work in an industry-funded research project that improves the quantitative exposure assessment in HTS cell-based bioassays and develops and implements methods for quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE).Welcome!
We designed an quantitative silicone sampling system to extraction bioaccumulative chemicals from blood. The paper can be downloaded at http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1RCvNAOM9Ysq0, Jin, L., Escher, B.I., Limpus, C. and Gaus, C. (2015). Coupling passive sampling with in vitro bioassays and chemical analysis to understand combined effects of bioaccumulative chemicals in blood of marine turtles. Chemosphere, 138: 292-299.
The SOLUTIONS team in our Australian Celltox lab has demonstrated that apparent antagonism can be observed in estrogenicity reporter gene assays if the binding between natural organic matter and estrogens, which decrease the available agonist concentrations in the assay are not accounted for.
For more information http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1R1QxAOM9YscC
Neale, P., Escher, B.I. and Leusch, F. (2015). Understanding the implications of dissolved organic carbon when assessing antagonism in vitro: An example with an estrogen receptor assay. Chemosphere, 135: 341-346.
As of 1 June 2015 we welcome two new members to the Celltox family: Dr. Rita Schlichting will support the implementation of the high-throughput platforms CITEPro and Lisa Brückner will do a PhD project within the framework of the EU project Intelligence-led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (iPiE).Welcome!
Our young department has its first own PhD student since April 1, 2015 . Nora Haase will seek to bridge the gap of polymer -based extraction of a complex mixture of environmental chemicals from fish tissues for characterization of mixture toxicity in cell -based bioassays. Welcome , Nora !
Tattoo inks are considered to contain mainly insoluble pigments but simple experiments indicated that toxic components may be mobilised and induce adaptive stress responses in cell-based bioassays. Black ink contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress responses but greatest response was found for red and yellow tattoo inks. For more information http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1QxMB15DSkz6LY Neale, P.A., Stalter, D., Tang, J.Y.M. and Escher, B.I. (2015) Bioanalytical evidence that chemicals in tattoo ink can induce adaptive stress responses. Journal of Hazardous Materials 296, 192-200.
Our department has been participating in the project IPiE (intelligence-led assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment) since February 2015. 25 partners from academia, public authorities and the pharmaceutical industry work together to improve prediction of the environmental effects of medicinal products that are still in the development process. In addition they want to establish prioritized lists for the risk assessment and the environmental (bio)Monitoring of pharmaceuticals which are already on the market. The project is funded with a budget of 10.2 million euros for 4 years by the EU and the pharmaceutical industry through its innovative finding Initiative (IMI).
Beate Escher has been Head of Department of Cell Toxicology since 10.October 2014. She holds a professorship in Environmental Toxicology at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen.
Dr. Annika Jahnke started as new group leader in the Department Cell Toxicology. Annika’s research focuses on the combination of passive sampling of complex matrices with chemical analysis and bioanalytical tools. Welcome to the team, Annika!
The new department of Cell Toxicology is presently hosted in the laboratories of Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology and Effect-Directed Analysis. Thanks everyone for giving us a head start!