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In vitro tools for the toxicological evaluation of sediments and dredged materials: intra- and inter-laboratory comparisons of chemical and bioanalytical methods
- Eichbaum, Kathrin, Brinkmann, Markus, Nuesser, Leonie, Gembé, Carolin, Ohlig, Marina, Buchinger, Sebastian, Reifferscheid, Georg, Hecker, Markus, Giesy, John P., Hollert, Henner
- Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.5 pp. 4037-4050
- batteries, bioassays, cell lines, detection limit, dredged materials, guidelines, mass spectrometry, risk assessors, rivers, screening, toxicity, toxicity testing
- The implementation of in vitro bioassays for the screening of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) into management guidelines of dredged material is of increasing interest to regulators and risk assessors. This study reports on an intra- and inter-laboratory comparison study between four independent laboratories. A bioassay battery consisting of RTL-W1 (7-ethoxy-resorufin-O-deethylase; EROD), H4IIE (micro-EROD), and H4IIE-luc cells was used to assess aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated effects of sediments from two major European rivers, differently contaminated with DLCs. Each assay was validated by characterization of its limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ), z-factor, reproducibility, and repeatability. DLC concentrations were measured using high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) and compared to bioassay-specific responses via toxicity equivalents (TEQs) on intra- and inter-laboratory levels. The micro-EROD assay exhibited the best overall performance among the bioassays. It was ranked excellent (z-factor = 0.54), reached a repeatability > 75%, was highly comparable (r ² = 0.87) and reproducible (83%) between two laboratories, and was well correlated (r ² = 0.803) with TEQs. Its LOD and LOQ of 0.5 and 0.7 pM 2,3,7,8-TCDD, respectively, approached LOQs of HRGC/HRMS measurements. In contrast, cell lines RTL-W1 and H4IIE-luc produced LODs > 0.7 pM 2,3,7,8-TCDD, LOQs > 1.7 pM 2,3,7,8-TCDD, and repeatability < 70%. Based on the data obtained, the micro-EROD assay is the most favorable bioanalytical tool, and via a micro-EROD-based limit value, it would allow for the assessment of sediment DLC concentrations; thus, it could be considered for the implementation into testing and management guidelines for dredged materials.