Press Releases New Environmental Monitoring and Toxicology Assays

New Environmental Monitoring and Toxicology Assays

INDIGO’s New Family of Assays for Environmental Monitoring and Toxicology Provide a Screening Tool for Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.

State College, PA (May 18, 2023) – Today INDIGO Biosciences released a new family of cell-based luciferase reporter assays specifically developed for use in environmental testing applications such as screening samples for endocrine disrupting chemicals. The assays include those for the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR), Androgen Receptor (AR), Estrogen Receptor (ER), Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR), and Mineralocorticoid Receptor (MR).

“INDIGO has long offered cell-based assays for each of these receptors,” explained Jack Vanden Heuvel, PhD, INDIGO’s Chief Scientific Officer, “but we are always investigating ways to enhance their performance and optimize them for use in specific applications. This new family of environmental monitoring assays offers significantly improved levels of dynamic response and sensitivity, delivering higher signal-to-background and lower limit of detection (LOD) concentrations. This sensitivity makes these assays ideally suited for environmental toxicology applications, such as screening samples for chemical pollutants like endocrine disrupting compounds and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).”


INDIGO’s assays allow scientists working in environmental toxicology and water quality to detect potential toxicity from both known contaminants—such as estrogen-, androgen-, and dioxin-like compounds—as well as unknown substances and contaminants of emerging concern. INDIGO’s bioassays also allow scientists to evaluate the biological effects of complex mixtures of contaminants, such as those that may exist in wastewater, recycled water, and surface water. Assay data allows a user to assess a sample’s bioactivity compared to an established effect-based trigger value for a given environmental contaminant.


INDIGO’s assays are available as easy-to-use kits that require no specialized laboratory equipment and provide data in as little as 24 hours. INDIGO can also perform these and all of its receptor assays in its own lab as a convenient and economical service for researchers. Since INDIGO’s new environmental assays share a standardized workflow, scientists—even those unfamiliar with cell-based assays—can move easily from one assay to another when evaluating an environmental sample’s effects on multiple receptors. This can help academic researchers, regulatory agencies, water authorities, and chemical manufacturers reduce the time and cost associated with obtaining bioactivity data for environmental samples and for new chemicals in development.