Harnessing Semi-Supervised Machine Learning to Automatically Predict Bioactivities of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)

24 August 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Many per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) pose significant health hazards due to their bioactive and persistent bioaccumulative properties. However, assessing the bioactivities of PFASs is both time-consuming and costly due to the sheer number and expense of in vivo and in vitro biological experiments. To this end, we harnessed new unsupervised/semi-supervised machine learning models to automatically predict bioactivities of PFAS in various human biological targets, including enzymes, genes, proteins, and cell lines. Our semi-supervised metric learning models were used to predict the bioactivity of PFASs found in the recent Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report list, which contains 4,730 PFASs used in a broad range of industries and consumers. Our work provides the first semi-supervised machine learning study of structure-activity relationships for predicting possible bioactivities in a variety of PFAS species.


perfluoroalkyl substances
polyfluoroalkyl substances
machine learning
environmental chemistry
water treatment
defluorination reactions
unsupervised machine learning
semi-supervised machine learning
structure-activity relationships

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials
Additional details on unsupervised and semi-supervised metric machine learning methods, additional details on molecular docking calculations, and unsupervised machine learning results

Supplementary weblinks


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