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Issue 11, 2007
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A microfabricated array of clamps for immobilizing and imaging C. elegans

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Abstract

This paper describes the fabrication of a microfluidic device for rapid immobilization of large numbers of live C. elegans for performing morphological analysis, microsurgery, and fluorescence imaging in a high-throughput manner. The device consists of two principal elements: (i) an array of 128 wedge-shaped microchannels, or clamps, which physically immobilize worms, and (ii) a branching network of distribution channels, which deliver worms to the array. The flow of liquid through the device (driven by a constant pressure difference between the inlet and the outlet) automatically distributes individual worms into each clamp. It was possible to immobilize more than 100 worms in less than 15 min. The immobilization process was not damaging to the worms: following removal from the array of clamps, worms lived typical lifespans and reproduced normally. The ability to monitor large numbers of immobilized worms easily and in parallel will enable researchers to investigate physiology and behavior in large populations of C. elegans.

Graphical abstract: A microfabricated array of clamps for immobilizing and imaging C. elegans

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Article information


Submitted
25 May 2007
Accepted
24 Jul 2007
First published
16 Aug 2007

Lab Chip, 2007,7, 1515-1523
Article type
Paper

A microfabricated array of clamps for immobilizing and imaging C. elegans

S. E. Hulme, S. S. Shevkoplyas, J. Apfeld, W. Fontana and G. M. Whitesides, Lab Chip, 2007, 7, 1515
DOI: 10.1039/B707861G

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