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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 23, 2013

Bioavailability of heavy metals using in vitro digestion model: a state of present knowledge

  • Nurul Syazani Yuswir , Sarva Mangala Praveena EMAIL logo , Ahmad Zaharin Aris and Zailina Hashim


In vitro digestion models are currently being used to detect heavy metals in soil, foods, consumer products, and house dust. However, determining the bioavailability of heavy metals using such models has limited applications compared with total heavy metal determination. This paper provides an overview of current trends in the development and utilization of in vitro digestion models for soil, foods, consumer products and house dust, as well as information that can be used to develop in vitro digestion models. We found that these models are applied more on food samples than on other samples, and that in vitro digestion models can be used in exposure and health risk assessments, which help determine cancer and non-cancer risks. Thus, this review improves our understanding and provides suggestions for a health risk assessment application using in vitro digestion model outputs.

Corresponding author: Sarva Mangala Praveena, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia, Phone: +60389472692, Fax: +60389472395, E-mail:

The authors would like to thank the Research University Grant Scheme (Vot: 9335100), Graduate Research Fellowship, (University Putra Malaysia), and My Brain 15 (Ministry of Higher Education) for the financial support extended.


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Received: 2013-9-17
Accepted: 2013-10-28
Published Online: 2013-11-23
Published in Print: 2013-12-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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