Development of Deep Learning Models for Predicting the Effects of Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials on Daphnia magna

Pantelis Karatzas, Georgia Melagraki, Laura-Jayne A Ellis, Iseult Lynch, Dimitra-Danai Varsou, Antreas Afantitis, Andreas Tsoumanis, Philip Doganis, Haralambos Sarimveis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    165 Downloads (Pure)


    This study presents the results of applying deep learning methodologies within the ecotoxicology field, with the objective of training predictive models that can support hazard assessment and eventually the design of safer engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). A workflow applying two different deep learning architectures on microscopic images of Daphnia magna is proposed that can automatically detect possible malformations, such as effects on the length of the tail, and the overall size, and uncommon lipid concentrations and lipid deposit shapes, which are due to direct or parental exposure to ENMs. Next, classification models assign specific objects (heart, abdomen/claw) to classes that depend on lipid densities and compare the results with controls. The models are statistically validated in terms of their prediction accuracy on external D. magna images and illustrate that deep learning technologies can be useful in the nanoinformatics field, because they can automate time-consuming manual procedures, accelerate the investigation of adverse effects of ENMs, and facilitate the process of designing safer nanostructures. It may even be possible in the future to predict impacts on subsequent generations from images of parental exposure, reducing the time and cost involved in long-term reproductive toxicity assays over multiple generations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2001080
    Issue number36
    Early online date17 Jun 2020
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2020


    • deep learning
    • hazard assessment
    • image analysis
    • machine learning
    • nanoinformatics


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