Worming your way into bioavailability
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Worming your way into bioavailability

Modelling the uptake of organic chemicals in earthworms

About the Book

Bioavailability is a complicated issue. In this thesis, Tjalling Jager discusses how organic chemicals are taken up by earthworms, and to what extent. Earthworms are essential for soil fertility, as well as important dietary items for a range of predators. A "mechanistic" approach is followed: starting with the theory, translating theory into mathematical models, and experiments to verify the model predictions. This process leads to a broad evaluation of the equilibrium-partitioning (EP) theory, and a quantification of the different routes by which chemicals are taken up into earthworms. The work in this thesis shows that risk assessment can safely rely on EP predictions (at least for worst-case estimates).

This thesis contains 11 chapters, of which 8 have been published in the scientific literature. Apart from the introduction and general discussion, especially the unpublished Chapter 2 may be of interest. This chapter provides a in-depth explanation of compartment modelling for toxicokinetics, departing from the basics (the one-compartment model and the nature of the rate constants) and moving to model extensions to deal with deviating kinetics and bioavailability issues. This chapter is written 'text-book style', and forms a good introduction into TK modelling.

This book is my PhD thesis from 2003, and there will be no updates.

About the Author

Tjalling Jager
Tjalling Jager

Mechanistic modelling is still an under-utilised tool in ecotoxicology and stress ecology. It is my passion to promote these models through (applied) scientific projects, providing software solutions, teaching in courses, presentations at conferences, and through writing e-books. The models that I specialise in are so-called toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TKTD) models; in particular, models for survival (the GUTS framework) and sublethal effects (based on Dynamic Energy Budget - DEB - theory). These models are based on a rigorous simplification of biological complexity, and have the power to explain (and predict) life-history traits of organisms (e.g., growth, reproduction and survival) over time. Especially when considering exposure to stressors, such dynamic models are indispensable to make sense of the data.

I hold an MSc and PhD in Biology, and have been a professional modeller since 1992, working almost exclusively on DEB- and GUTS-based TKTD modelling since 2002. Currently, I run my own private company 'DEBtox Research', offering my expertise to clients from industry, contract laboratories, and universities.

More information about Tjalling at DEBtox Research

More information about DEB(tox) and GUTS models

Table of Contents

1. General Introduction


Section A: Theoretical

2. Using Compartment Models for Bioaccumulation

3. Mechanistic Approach for Estimating Bioconcentration of Organic Chemicals in Earthworms (Oligochaeta)

Section B: Case Studies

4. Toxicokinetics of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta) using Spiked Soil

5. Availability of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons to Earthworms (Eisenia andrei, Oligochaeta) in Field-Polluted Soils and Soil-Sediment Mixtures

6. Assessing Bioavailability of Organic Chemicals in Contaminated Soils, Evaluation of Bioassays with Earthworms

7. Solid Phase MicroExtraction to Predict Bioavailability and Accumulation in a Field-Contaminated Soil

Section C: Gut Uptake

8. Modelling Ingestion as an Exposure Route for Organic Chemicals in Earthworms (Oligochaeta)

9. Feeding Activity of the Earthworm Eisenia andrei in Artificial Soil

10. Elucidating the Routes of Exposure for Organic Chemicals in the Earthworm, Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta)


11. Summary and General Discussion

Samenvatting in het Nederlands

Curriculum Vitae

List of Publications


Explanation of Symbol Use

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