Numerous reports have indicated that hydrophobic organic compound bioaccessibility in sediment and soil can be determined by extraction using aqueous hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrin (HPCD) solutions. This study establishes the compatibility of HPCD with Selenastrum capricornutum and assesses whether its presence influences the toxicity of reference toxicants. Algal growth inhibition (72 h) showed no significant (P > 0.05) difference at HPCD concentrations up to and including 20 mM. HPCD presence did not influence the toxicity of the inorganic reference toxicant (ZnSO4), with IC50 values of 0.82 µM and 0.85 µM, in the presence and absence of HPCD (20 mM), respectively. However, HPCD presence (20 mM) reduced the toxicity of 2,4-dichlorophenol and the herbicides diuron and isoproturon. These reductions were attributed to inclusion complex formation between the toxicants and the HPCD cavity. Liberation of complexed toxicants, by sample manipulation prior to toxicity assessment, is proposed to provide a sensitive, high throughput, bioassay that reflects compound bioaccessibility. Compatibility of the biomimetic HPCD extraction method with algal cell growth inhibition bioassays to assess toxicity of reference toxicants and environmental relevant herbicides.