A guide to the use of bioassays in exploration of natural resources

Jerica Sabotič, Engin Bayram, David Ezra, Susana P. Gaudêncio, Berat Z. Haznedaroğlu, Nika Janež, Leila Ktari, Anna Luganini, Manolis Mandalakis, Ivo Safarik, Dina Simes, Evita Strode, Anna Toruńska-Sitarz, Despoina Varamogianni-Mamatsi, Giovanna Cristina Varese, Marlen I. Vasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)


Bioassays are the main tool to decipher bioactivities from natural resources thus their selection and quality are critical for optimal bioprospecting. They are used both in the early stages of compounds isolation/purification/identification, and in later stages to evaluate their safety and efficacy. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the most common bioassays used in the discovery and development of new bioactive compounds with a focus on marine bioresources. We present a comprehensive list of practical considerations for selecting appropriate bioassays and discuss in detail the bioassays typically used to explore antimicrobial, antibiofilm, cytotoxic, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-ageing potential. The concept of quality control and bioassay validation are introduced, followed by safety considerations, which are critical to advancing bioactive compounds to a higher stage of development. We conclude by providing an application-oriented view focused on the development of pharmaceuticals, food supplements, and cosmetics, the industrial pipelines where currently known marine natural products hold most potential. We highlight the importance of gaining reliable bioassay results, as these serve as a starting point for application-based development and further testing, as well as for consideration by regulatory authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108307
Number of pages36
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Bioactivity
  • Bioactivity-guided purification
  • Bioassay selection
  • Biodiscovery
  • Blue biotechnology
  • Drug discovery
  • Natural products
  • Preclinical trials
  • Validation


Dive into the research topics of 'A guide to the use of bioassays in exploration of natural resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this