Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans) is an invaluable model organism in cell biology due to its simplicity, transparency, genetic tractability, and the conservation of many cellular processes. It has contributed significantly to our understanding of cell development, differentiation, neuronal function, aging, and more.
Microfluidic devices offer precise control over fluid flow, chemical gradients, and environmental conditions, making them a powerful tool for C. elegans research. They provide a level of automation and experimental control that is particularly useful for studying the worm’s biology, behavior, genetics, and responses to various stimuli. These devices are fabricated by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) bonding with plasma treatment.
C. Elegans & Microfluidic Device Examples:
- Neural Activity and Imaging
- Example: Turek et al. used calcium imaging to measure neuroactivity. They confined C. Elegans to microfluidic devices to isolate them, but still allow movement, and control food presence. Agarose Microchamber Imaging (AMI) and electron multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) camera recordings were used to video and image the worms.
- Antibacterial and Toxicity Response:
- Example: In Yang et al., worms were placed in chambers, with drug delivery regulated by a microfluidic device. A staphylococcus aureus model was used in the devices and the worms were analyzed based on their survival rate and antibiotic properties of rhubarb.
- Characteristics of the Worms and Developmental/Lifetime Stages
- Example: Zhu et al. used microfluidic devices to isolate the worms and then used electrical impedance to identity their developmental stage.
Featured C. Elegans Articles
Yan Y, Ng LF, Ng LT, Choi KB, Gruber J, Bettiol AA and Thakor NV. “A continuous-flow C. elegans sorting system with integrated optical fiber detection and laminar flow switching.” Lab on a Chip. (2014)14(20):4000-4006. 10.1039/c4lc00494a
Turek M, Besseling J, Bringmann H. “Agarose Microchambers for Long-term Calcium Imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans.” Journal of Visualized Experiments. (2015)100(100):e52742. 10.3791/52742
Yamamoto K, Kimura A. “An asymmetric attraction model for the diversity and robustness of cell arrangement in nematodes.” Development. (2017)144(23):4437-4449. 10.1242/dev.154609
Yang J, Chen Z, Ching P, Shi Q, Li X. “An integrated microfluidic platform for evaluating in vivo antimicrobial activity of natural compounds using a whole-animal infection model.” Lab Chip. (2013)13(17):3373-3382. 10.1039/c3lc50264c
Bruggeman CW, Haasnoot GH, Danne N, van Krugten J, Peterman EJG. “Differentiated dynamic response in C. elegans chemosensory cilia.” Cell Reports. (2022)41(2). 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111471
Ellwood RA. “Effects of Compounds on C. Elegans DMD Model Health.” eprints.nottingham.ac.uk; (2022). http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/68374
Youssef K, Archonta D, Kubiseski TJ, Tandon A and Rezai P. “Electric egg-laying: a new approach for regulating C. elegans egg-laying behaviour in a microchannel using electric field.” Lab on a Chip. (2021) 21,821-834. 10.1039/D0LC00964D
Ding X, Sridhar N, Xue D, Bhadra J. “Gym on a chip for small animal exercise.” US Patent App 17/807,849. (2022). https://patents.google.com/patent/US20220400658A1/en
Mondal S, Koushika SP. “Microfluidic Devices for Imaging Trafficking Events In Vivo Using Genetic Model Organisms.” Exocytosis and Endocytosis. (2014)26:375-396. 10.1007/978-1-4939-0944-5_26
Youssef K, Archonta D, Kubiseski TJ, Tandon A and Rezai P. “Microfluidic electric parallel egg-laying assay and application to in-vivo toxicity screening of microplastics using C. elegans.” Science of The Total Environment. (2021)783. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147055
Rahman M, Hewitt JE, Van-Bussel F, Edwards H, Blawzdziewicz J, Szewczyk NJ, Driscoll M and Vanapalli SA. “NemaFlex: a microfluidics-based technology for standardized measurement of muscular strength of C. elegans.” Lab Chip. (2018)18:2187-2201. 10.1039/C8LC00103K
Mizanur R, Edwards H, Nikolajs B, Rebecca G, Rumbaugh KP. “NemaLife chip: a micropillar-based microfluidic culture device optimized for aging studies in crawling C. elegans.” Scientific Reports. (2020. 10.1038/s41598-020-73002-6
Rahman M, Edwards H, Birze N, Gabrilska R, Rumbaugh KP, Blawzdziewicz J, Sewczyk NJ, Driscoll M and Vanapalli SA. “NemaLife chip: a micropillar-based microfluidic culture device optimized for aging studies in crawling C. elegans.” Scientific Reports. 2020;10:16190. 10.1038/s41598-020-73002-6
McGorty R, Liu H, Kamiyama D, Dong Z, Guo S, Huang B. “Open-top selective plane illumination microscope for conventionally mounted specimens.” Optics express. (2015)23(12):16142-16153. 10.1364/oe.23.016142
Behrouzi M. “Optofluidic Add-on Devices for Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy of Caenorhabditis Elegans with Conventional Wide-Field Microscopes.” yorkspace.library.yorku.ca; (2022). https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/handle/10315/39592
Youssef K, Archonta D, Kubiseski T, Tandon A, Rezai P. “Parallel-Channel Electrotaxis and Neuron Screening of Caenorhabditis elegans.” Micromachines. (2020)11:756. 10.3390/mi11080756
Yang J, Zheng M, Yang F, Zhang X, Yin W, Liu X, Zhang GJ and Chen Z. “Pseudomonas aeruginosa infected nematode-on-a-chip model array for antibacterials screening.” Sens Actuators, B. (2018)275:373-381. 10.1016/j.snb.2018.08.062
Mondal S, Ahlawat S, Koushika SP. “Simple Microfluidic Devices for in vivo Imaging of C. elegans, Drosophila and Zebrafish.” Journal of Visualized Experiments. (2012)67(67):e3780. 10.3791/3780
Yeboah P de V. “The Impacts of Environmental Perturbations on Life History Trajectories in Caenorhabditis Elegans.” PhD Thesis. scholarsbank.uoregon.edu; (2020). https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/25607
Banse SA, Blue BW, Robinson KJ, Jarrett CM, Philips PC. “The Stress-Chip: A microfluidic platform for stress analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.” PLoS One. (2019)14. 10.1371/journal.pone.0216283
Zhu Z, Chen W, Tian B, Luo Y, Lan J, Wu D, Chen D, Wang Z and Pan D. “Using microfluidic impedance cytometry to measure C. elegans worms and identify their developmental stages.” Sens Actuators, B. (2018)275:470-482. 10.1016/j.snb.2018.07.169