Special Issue "Alternatives to Animal Testing in Aquatic Ecotoxicology"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Isabel M. Lopes
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and CESAM, University of Aveiro, Campus Universit√°rio de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: ecology; aquatic ecotoxicology; ecological risk assessment; ecophysiology; evolutionary toxicology; nonanimal alternatives for amphibian risk assessment
Dr. Miguel Oliveira
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: nanotoxicity; endocrine disruption; personality; micro(nano)plastics effects and characterization; emerging contaminants; biosensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global increase of human population, and the concomitant rising standards of living, are expected to drive a strong demand for chemicals in the future. Though chemicals provide substantial benefits for societies, its release into the environment may cause severe harm to ecosystems. Thus, a key challenge emerges to the industry that must handle the increase in chemical production in a responsible and sustainable way. A sustainable chemical innovation must then be promoted to ensure the development of products that do not cause harm to the environment throughout their whole life-cycle. Ecotoxicology certainly plays an important role in this process, either by targeting, at early stages of the innovation process, chemical variations that pose lower toxicity to the environment or by establishing safe concentrations of chemicals in order to protect the environment.

The traditional ecotoxicological evaluation of chemicals entails in vivo assays, including animal experimentation, which makes the risk assessment of new chemicals a difficult task, mainly because it raises ethical issues. Indeed, at present most international regulatory frameworks target the 3 R´s policy (reduce, refine, and replace) and discourage the use of animal experimentation. From this perspective, there is the need to develop and validate alternative effective tools and approaches to support environmental hazards and the risk assessment of chemicals.

This Special Issue aims to present studies on diverse biological matrices, including different levels of biological organization, to review and discuss the currently used approaches and developments in the assessment of effects of chemicals on biota without the need to sacrifice and requiring minimum distress, suffering, or pain on the part of organisms (e.g., in silico methods, in vitro testing, read-across, and quantitative structure–activity relationships, among others). It aims to emphasize new and improved methodologies, promoting enhanced animal welfare, for the accurate sampling, detection, and quantification of relevant biological matrices/endpoints to assess the effects of chemicals on organisms. Studies focusing on alterative nonvertebrate organisms, having this approach in mind, are also supported.

Dr. Isabel M. Lopes
Dr. Marcelino Miguel Oliveira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • environmental toxicology
  • ecological risk assessment
  • environmental hazard
  • in vitro testing
  • nonanimal alternatives
  • humane endpoints

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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