Bioassays like growth inhibition and genotoxicity assays are frequently used for the characterization of chemicals and contaminated environmental samples. In this work two standardized bioassays are automated completely using newly developed liquid handling stations and robotics.
A high-throughput algal growth inhibition assay prototype is set up and optimized in cooperation with Hoelle & Huettner AG (Tuebingen, Germany) and Polygen GmbH (Langen, Germany). A software package for both the control of the test system and for data evaluation has been developed (Biolane(tm) Supervisor, BioLaneTM Manager HTT). The applicability of the prototype is demonstrated by testing reference compounds with the automated assay in parallel with the Erlenmeyer flask assay. It is shown that EC50-values of chemicals do not differ significantly when incubation parameters like homogeneity of light intensity, temperature and evaporation during 72 hours of incubation are optimized.
The umu-genotoxicity test is automated completely using a “RoboSeq® 4204 SE” pipetting station (MWG AG, Ebersberg, Germany) equipped with two shakers, microplate photometer, four pipettes, stacker for ten microplates and incubation cabin with temperature regulation. As a result of miniaturization and automation large numbers of toxicants and far more treatments and parallels can be tested and, additionally, only low sample volumes are needed.