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Issue 12, 2012
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A microfluidic device for whole-animal drug screening using electrophysiological measures in the nematode C. elegans

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Abstract

This paper describes the fabrication and use of a microfluidic device for performing whole-animal chemical screens using non-invasive electrophysiological readouts of neuromuscular function in the nematode worm, C. elegans. The device consists of an array of microchannels to which electrodes are attached to form recording modules capable of detecting the electrical activity of the pharynx, a heart-like neuromuscular organ involved in feeding. The array is coupled to a tree-like arrangement of distribution channels that automatically delivers one nematode to each recording module. The same channels are then used to perfuse the recording modules with test solutions while recording the electropharyngeogram (EPG) from each worm with sufficient sensitivity to detect each pharyngeal contraction. The device accurately reported the acute effects of known anthelmintics (anti-nematode drugs) and also correctly distinguished a specific drug-resistant mutant strain of C. elegans from wild type. The approach described here is readily adaptable to parasitic species for the identification of novel anthelmintics. It is also applicable in toxicology and drug discovery programs for human metabolic and degenerative diseases for which C. elegans is used as a model.

Graphical abstract: A microfluidic device for whole-animal drug screening using electrophysiological measures in the nematode C. elegans

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Focus on USA
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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Jan 2012, accepted on 24 Apr 2012 and first published on 26 Apr 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC00001F
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 2211-2220
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    A microfluidic device for whole-animal drug screening using electrophysiological measures in the nematode C. elegans

    S. R. Lockery, S. E. Hulme, W. M. Roberts, K. J. Robinson, A. Laromaine, T. H. Lindsay, G. M. Whitesides and J. C. Weeks, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 2211
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC00001F

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