MicroBioTests Inc. is the exclusive producer worldwide of TOXKIT MICROBIOTESTS for detection and quantification of the toxicity of chemicals and/or solid and liquid wastes which pollute aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Toxkit microbiotests are used for toxicity screening and monitoring of surface waters (freshwater an marine), groundwaters, industrial effluents, river sediments and contaminated soils. Some of these microbiotests are also suited for the rapid detection of biological toxins contaminating surface waters and water reservoirs.
The unique characteristic and the major asset of Toxkit microbiotests is that these bioassays are totally independent of the (complex and costly) culturing and maintenance of stocks of test-organisms which are needed for the tests.
Toxkit microbiotests make use of 'dormant' or 'immobilised' stages of selected test species, which can be stored for long periods of time and 'activated' at the time of performance of the assays.
This allows performance of these low cost and user-friendly toxicity tests 'anytime and anywhere' without the need for expensive equipment or facilities.
Recently two practical and low cost 'field tests' were developed for 'ultra-rapid' toxicity screening of water and for 'ultra-rapid' determination of the degree of bacterial contamination of water.
Toxkit microbiotests are presently used in more than 40 countries worldwide for biomonitoring of contaminated waters and soils, as well as for research.
Since their commercialisation, more than 150.000 tests have already been performed worldwide with Toxkits, and hundreds of scientific papers and reports have been published on their use.
Worldwide, there is an increasing awareness that the real hazard of environmental contaminants cannot be determined by just employing conventional chemical analysis. The interest in biological testing is growing rapidly and toxicity testing is now gradually incorporated in environmental legislation in many countries. Toxicity test responses reflect the presence as well as the quantity of all individual pollutants present in the sample. The results hence are an effective integration of the toxicity of all the individual toxic substances present in the tested samples. Many of these are unlikely to be detected by conventional chemical testing.
The practical implementation of toxicity testing is, however, seriously hampered by the biological, technical and financial problems inherent to the continuous culturing/availability and maintenance of stocks of live test organisms in good health and in sufficient numbers. As a result, application in most countries is to date restricted to a few highly specialized laboratories and rather seldom employed in routine environmental analysis.
Small-scale (miniaturized) bioassays have been developed over the last few years with selected test species, which are independent of the sourcing, the culturing and/or the maintenance of live stocks of test biota. Pioneering work on the concept and the development of “culture/maintenance free” microbiotests has been performed by Prof.Dr.G.Persoone and his research teams, first at the Laboratory for Biological Research in Aquatic Pollution at the Ghent University in Belgium and later in the company MicroBioTests Inc., in collaboration with scientists from several laboratories in different countries.
The culture/maintenance independent small-scale tests were given the generic name TOXKITS to emphasize their availability in handy robust kits containing all the materials needed for rapid and user-friendly performance of the assays.
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 200 papers reporting facts, figures and findings with the culture/maintenanc
Bacterial Contamination Screening Kit
The BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION SCREENING KIT is a “field test kit” containing all the materials and reagents to perform contamination analyses of 20 water samples. Easy to follow instructions with detailed illustrations are provided within the kits for the conduct of the ultra-rapid field assays. The tests are based on chemical ATP measurements in special tubes with reagents, which are recorded in a portable luminometer.
Acute Ceriodaphtoxkit F Microbiotest
24h acute toxicity test, based on the cladoceran crustacean Ceriodaphnia dubia. This microbiotest adheres to the USEPA Test Guideline.