RIKILT- Institute of Food Safety

• The microbiology group chaired by Prof Willem de Vos has an impressive track record in studying the human intestinal microbiome in humans which is exemplified by numerous publications in high ranking scientific journals;

• The toxicology group chaired by Prof Ivonne Rietjens has an excellent track record in food toxicology and interactions of potential toxic compounds with intestinal and systemic functioning. 

• Bridging between these groups is Dr Hans Bouwmeester who develops advanced gut-on-a-chip models to adequately recapitulate the complex intestinal functioning. 

• RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety brings impressive knowledge on bioassays and sensitive analytical detection methods in complex biological samples. Its research is strongly embedded in Dutch and European legal and regulatory networks on safety testing and replacement of animal trials. 

Relevant infrastructure at the WU-TOX

Excellent facilities for in vitro tissue culturing including cultivation of stem cell and 3- D microfluidic models, as well as for analytical chemistry including UPLC and LC-MS, microscopic techniques, ICP-MS and others. 

.International collaborations of the MIB research team

We have strong collaborations on identifying driver species and the minimal microbiome with the following groups: Prof Peer Bork group leader EMBL Heidelberg DE, Dr Anne Salonen and Dr Reetta Satokari, Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki FI and Prof Harry Flint and Dr Petra Louis, Aberdeen University UK. In addition, there are ample links with various industries that are exploiting the intestinal microbiome such as Nestle, Nutricia and JnJ. The collaborations on the CRISPR–Cas System with the groups of Prof Feng Zang at Broad-MIT Boston US, Prof Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley US and Prof Eugene Koonin, NCBI-NIH Bethesda US. 


€ 4.8 million grant for revolutionary modular and standardized SMART OoC platform

NWO has awarded the prestigious Perspectief grant to a multidisciplinary team of 10 researchers affiliated...

Read more

Added value for hDMT

• In depth knowledge on intestinal microbial fermentation and functioning, and intestinal dynamics.
• our collaborations with the food industry: Royal DSM, Friesland Campina, Nestle, Nutrica, Danone and BASF to mention the largest companies in this field.

Added value of hDMT for Wageningen University & Research

• the development of advanced microfluidics chips that are needed as a scaffold for the intestinal models 
• highly innovative and sensitive on-chip measurements to monitor the homeostatic conditions 
• fundamental insight in cellular interactions and developmental biology (stems cells) as available within the hDMT consortium
• by actively working together within hDMT we expect to achieve a clear competitive advantage for future grand applications and public-private collaborations. Already now, we have an active (starting and existing) collaboration with some of the current hDMT members (i.e. Hubrecht Institute, University of Twente and Galapagos).

Relevant infrastructure at the MIB

The Laboratory of Microbiology is composed of 3 research groups (Microbial Physiology, Molecular Ecology and Bacterial Genetics) with over 100 scientists, supporting staff and students. The laboratory has excellent facilities for the cultivation (shaking incubators, 0.5 – 5.0 L fermentors) and analysis (GC, MS, HPLC, FPLC) of a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, yeasts). MIB has a dedicated facilities for cultivation and analysis of microorganisms in general, and intestinal bacteria in particular.

International collaborations of the WU-TOX research team

Nestlé Research Center Lausanne, prof.dr. P.J. van Bladeren endowed chair of physiologically based kinetic modelling and low dose cancer risk extrapolation. BASF SE Ludwigshafen, prof.dr. B. Van Ravenzwaay endowed chair developmental toxicology, and metabolomics, Senior vice president Experimental Toxicology and Ecology at BASF. School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, prof.dr. G. Williamson the role of the gut microbiome in flavonoid metabolism. Heriot Watt University, Nano-Safety Research Group; prof. dr. Vicki Stone, nanotoxicology, in vitro models, risk assessment.




• Walczak A.P., Kramer E., Hendriksen P.J.M., Helsdingen R., Van der Zande M., Rietjens I.M.C.M., Bouwmeester H., In vitro gastrointestinal digestion increases the translocation of polystyrene nanoparticles in an in vitro intestinal co-culture model (2015) Nanotoxicology. Epub Sep 4.
• Bui N, J Ritari, S Boeren, P de Waard, CM Plugge & WM de Vos Production of butyrate from lysine and the Amadori product fructoselysine by a human gut commensal. (2015) Nature Comm 6:10062
• Everard A, C Belzer, L Geurts, JP Ouwerkerk, C Druart, LB Bindels, Y Guot, M Derrien, GG Mucioli, NM Delzenne, WM de Vos & P Cani Crosstalk between Akkermansia muciniphila and intestinal epithelium controls diet-induced obesity. (2013) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: 9066-71. 

Relevant grants

• NWO: High-end Analytical Detection coupled to a Gut-on-a-Chip (GUTTEST), dr. Hans Bouwmeester together with Prof Sabeth Verpoorte (UG) and Prof Michel Nielen (WU).
• WU-BASF: Influence of microbiome on plasma metabolite patterns, Prof Ivonne Rietjens (WU) and Prof Ben van Ravenzwaay (BASF/WU).