Total independence of culturing/maintenance of live stocks of test species
Toxkit microbiotests make use of “dormant” or “immobilized” life stages of the test biota which can be stored for long periods of time and “hatched” or “set free” to provide the organisms for immediate test performance.
Test biota of uniform size and age, and in good physiological condition hence become available “on demand” without any need for the highly specialized equipment, infrastructure or know how inherent to the culture and maintenance of live stocks.
Miniaturization into small-scale tests
The Toxkit microbiotests are miniaturized in handy kits which, besides the dormant or immobilized test species, also contain the test containers, the media and the materials to carry out several complete bioassays. They require little bench space or sophisticated laboratory equipment.
Availability of a battery of acute and short-chronic bioassays
Acute and short-chronic Toxkit microbiotests have been developed with a range of test biota belonging to different phylogenetic groups and trophic levels, comprising microalgae, ciliate protozoans, rotifers and crustaceans.
Toxkit microbiotests are available for terrestrial and freshwater environments, as well as for estuarine and marine environments.
Suitability for use in routine
Because of their user-friendliness and low cost, Toxkit microbiotests are particularly suited for routine application and biomonitoring.
Low cost equipment
Specific and robust low-cost equipment has also been developed or selected for use with Toxkit microbiotests.
Individual test kit components are available separately
All individual parts of the Toxkits : i.e. the biological material, the test containers, the media, the foods, the micropipettes, etc ... can be purchased separately.
Conformity with regulatory bioassays
Several Toxkit microbiotests make use of the same species as the “conventional” toxicity tests prescribed by environmental legislations at national and international levels. The Toxkit testing procedures have been structured so that they fully comply with the test methodologies of regulatory bioassays.
Studies performed independently in several laboratories from different countries have shown that Toxkit microbiotests are as sensitive as “conventional” tests performed with test species originating from laboratory cultures and give equivalent results
High degree of standardization and precision
Since all individual Toxkits contain the same materials (biological as well as others), and since the simple testing procedures are very clearly documented down to the last detail, the repeatability and the reproducibility of these small-scale bioassays is substantially better than that of the corresponding “conventional” toxicity tests.
Toxkit microbiotests are to date applied in more than 40 countries worldwide for research as well as for monitoring purposes.
Domains of application
Toxkit microbiotests are used for a wide range of applications :
- toxicity screening of effluents, leachates, surface and groundwaters, sediments, contaminated soils, solid wastes and waste leachates, landfill leachates, chemicals, plant extracts, paints and coatings
- toxicity monitoring in aquatic and terrestrial contaminated environments
- assessment of detoxification following bioremediation of contaminated soils
- detection and quantification of biotoxins from cyanobacterial blooms
Reports and publications / Validation
Since the commercialisation of the first Toxkits in the early 1990's, more than 400 papers reporting facts, figures and findings with the culture/maintenance free microbiotests have appeared in scientific literature and this number is rapidly increasing.
Abstracts of these papers can be found here.