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Microfluidic chamber arrays for whole-organism behavior-based chemical screening

Chung, Kwanghun and Zhan, Mei and Srinivasan, Jagan and Sternberg, Paul W. and Gong, Emily and Schroeder, Frank C. and Lu, Hang (2011) Microfluidic chamber arrays for whole-organism behavior-based chemical screening. Lab on a Chip, 11 (21). pp. 3689-3697. ISSN 1473-0197. PMCID PMC3924777.

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The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism in genetic research and drug screening because of its relative simplicity, ease of maintenance, amenability to simple genetic manipulation, and relevance to human biology. However, their small size and mobility make nematodes difficult to physically manipulate, particularly with spatial and temporal precision. We have developed a microfluidic device to overcome these challenges and enable fast behavior-based chemical screening in C. elegans. The key components of this easy-to-use device allow rapid loading and housing of C. elegans in a chamber array for chemical screening. A simple two-step loading process enables simultaneous loading of a large number of animals within a few minutes without using any expensive/active off-chip components. In addition, chemicals can be precisely delivered to the worms and exchanged with high temporal precision. To demonstrate this feature and the ability to measure time dependent responses to chemicals, we characterize the transient response of worms exposed to different concentrations of anesthetics. We then use the device to study the effect of chemical signals from hermaphrodite worms on male behavior. The ability of the device to maintain a large number of free moving animals in one field of view over a long period of time permits us to demonstrate an increase in the incidence of a specific behavior in males subjected to worm-conditioned medium. Because our device allows monitoring of a large number of worms with single-animal resolution, we envision that this platform will greatly expedite chemical screening in C. elegans.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Chung, Kwanghun0000-0002-8167-3340
Srinivasan, Jagan0000-0001-5449-7938
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Schroeder, Frank C.0000-0002-4420-0237
Additional Information:© 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 10 May 2011, Accepted 30 Aug 2011. First published on the web 20 Sep 2011. This paper was supported by the following grant(s): National Institute of General Medical Sciences : NIGMS R01 GM088290 || GM.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHR01 GM088290
Issue or Number:21
PubMed Central ID:PMC3924777
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111108-112517299
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Microfluidic chamber arrays for whole-organism behavior-based chemical screening Kwanghun Chung, Mei Zhan, Jagan Srinivasan, Paul W. Sternberg, Emily Gong, Frank C. Schroeder and Hang Lu Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 3689-3697 DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20400A
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27673
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 20:25
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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