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Development of an innovative genotoxicity measuring device to facilitate the safety control in environmental applications

Objective

Scientific objectives and approach:

The objective of this project is to develop an automated sensor that enables a quick, on-site assessment of genotoxicity to overcome the drawbacks of the current "comet assay". It will be based on the single cell gel (SCG) electrophoresis method, that is the so-called "comet assay", which is the best current technique for genotoxicity assessment.
The innovation of this development is based on completely new equipment composed of:
- The "multi-chamber wells" that is new tool enabling the on-site collection of samples and preventing the manipulation of probes during the test
- An "automated carrier" that will support the multi-chamber wells and moves it under the microscope
- A powerful software controlling the tray of the wells and interface to existing analysis software that will also be developed in the project.
This development will enable the measure of up to 200-400 probes per day, instead of assessing 12-24 probes/1,5 day with the best current technique.

Problems to be solved:

Determination of the genotoxic potential of man-made chemicals (i.e. effluents, biozides, and chemicals accidentally released into the environment) is a subject of investigation all over the world. Methods measuring genotoxicity are time and cost consuming and need well-equipped cell culture laboratories as well as technical / scientific staff with experience in cell culture techniques.
During the last 10 years, the comet assay (also named single cell gel electrophoresis assay (SCGE)) has been developed to a very sensitive assay for testing genotoxic properties of chemical and physical toxicants in mammalian cells.
The disadvantages of the comet assay, as it is the case in all other modern genotoxicity tests lies in the small number of samples, which can be examined within one day. Highly specialized staff and a well-equipped cell culture laboratory are necessary to perform the assay.

Expected Impacts:

The impacts are:
- increase of the number of samples/person and day
- Reduction of required measuring time by 75% compared to existing methods (approximately 1 hour for 25 probes, instead of 12 probes a day)
- Reduction of measuring costs by 50% compared to existing laboratory methods (automation of the sensor, then no need of high skilled trained personal in small companies to perform the test)
- simplification of the procedure
- enabling non-specialists to perform the assay
- cell culture laboratory not necessary
- greater competitiveness and profitability for the procedure of chemicals, biozides, effluents, by better control of genotoxicity.

Funding Scheme

CRS - Cooperative research contracts

Coordinator

INTOX GMBH
Address
An Den Eschen 43B
26129 Oldenburg
Germany

Participants (8)

EGI- AMBIENTE, PRESTACAO DE GESTAO E CONTROLE AMBIENTAL LDA
Portugal
Address
Praceta Madre De Deus 44
4405 Valandares
INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE CASTILLA Y LEON
Spain
Address
C/ Lopez Bravo, 70 - Pol. Ind. Villalonquejar
09001 Burgos
ISMAR CHIMICA SPA
Italy
Address
Via Isocorte 16
16164 Genova
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE PER LO STUDIO E LA CURA DEI TUMORI
Italy
Address
Via Mariano Semmola
80131 Napoli
MESUREX S.L.
Spain
Address
Pje. Pandereta, Local 1
Fuengirola
PARALAB-EQUIPAMENTOS INDUSTRIAIS E DE LABORATORIO, S.A.
Portugal
Address
Pç. Dos Pescadores 47
4450 333 Matosinhos
SOCIETA TECNOLOGIE BIOMEDICHE SRL
Italy
Address
Viale Delle Acacie, 44 Edf A/5a
81031 Aversa
UNIVERSITY OF OLDENBURG
Germany
Address
Ammerlaender Heerstrasse 114/118
26111 Oldenburg