Alternatives to animal testing

For the risk assessment of chemicals, toxicity data obtained in laboratory animals are required for the hazard characterization. However, there are several constraints with the use of animals for this purpose: animal studies are considered unethical, are time-consuming and expensive, and may not adequately predict the toxic responses of chemicals in humans. Therefore the development of alternative, non-animal based methods is urgently needed. Projects within this topic focus on the development of mode-of-action based alternative methods that can be applied in toxicological risk assessment. The research in this theme includes work on the translation of the in vitro data to the in vivo situation, which can be obtained with help of physiologically based kinetic modelling. Our projects focus on developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and on the development of in vitro models for safety testing of nanoparticles.

The research topics under this theme are as follows:

Mode of action-based new bioassays for marine biotoxins causing gastrointestinal disturbances.

  • PhD: Marcia Bodero Baeza; promotion in 2018
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Peter Hendriksen

Implementation of molecular endpoints in the Whole Embryo Culture (WEC) to improve the determination of concentration-response data to assess pathway sensitivity between derivatives of one chemical class.

  • PhD: Myrto Dimopoulou; promotion in 2018
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Ben Ravenzwaaij

A novel approach for the prediction of nanoparticle uptake to improve safety evaluations of nanoparticles used in food production and preservation

  • PhD: Ashraf Abdelkhaliq (Egypt; NUFFIC); promotion in 2019
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Hans Bouwmeester

Role of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in developmental toxicity of petroleum substances

  • PhD: Lenny Kamelia; promotion in 2020
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Peter Boogaard

Predicting in vivo toxicity by combining in vitro testing and a generic physiologically based kinetic (PBK) modelling approach

  • PhD: Mengying Zhang; promotion in 2020
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Ben van Ravenzwaay (BASF)

A microfluidic GUT-on-a-chip-model for toxicity screening.

  • PhD: Kornphimol Kulthong; promotion in 2020
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Hans Bouwmeester

A novel method for predicting human cardiotoxicity without animal testing

  • PhD: Miaoying Shi; promotion in 2021
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Jochem Louisse

Development of combined in vitro-in silico methods for the risk assessment of pesticides and pesticide mixtures as found in Kenya.

  • PhD: Isaac Omewnga; promotion in 2021
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Jochem Louisse

Development of a novel approach for the exposure and risk assessment of human systemic exposure to organophosphate pesticides via food in the Western and Chinese population

  • PhD: Shensheng Zhao; promotion in 2021
  • Supervisors: Ivonne Rietjens, Jochem Louisse
Cell culture