Direct observation of developmental and physiological changes in certain model organisms over time has been technically challenging. In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, these studies require frequent or continuous imaging at physiologically benign conditions. However, standard methods use anaesthetics, glue, or microbeads, which prevent animals from feeding during the experiment. Thus, the animals' normal physiological function may be affected over time. Here we present a platform designed for dynamic studies of C. elegans. The system is capable of immobilizing only the animals' bodies under benign conditions and without physical deformation. Simultaneously, the animals' heads remain free to move and feed for the duration of the experiment. This allows for high-resolution and high-magnification fluorescent imaging of immobilized and feeding animals. The system is very easy to fabricate, set up, and operate, and should be widely applicable to many problems in developmental and physiological studies.
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