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Proceedings Paper

Microfluidic EmbryoSort technology: towards in flow analysis, sorting and dispensing of individual vertebrate embryos
Author(s): Nurul Mohd Fuad; Donald Wlodkowic
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Paper Abstract

The demand to reduce the numbers of laboratory animals has facilitated the emergence of surrogate models such as tests performed on zebrafish (Danio rerio) or African clawed frog’s (Xenopus levis) eggs, embryos and larvae. Those two model organisms are becoming increasingly popular replacements to current adult animal testing in toxicology, ecotoxicology and also in drug discovery. Zebrafish eggs and embryos are particularly attractive for toxicological analysis due their size (diameter 1.6 mm), optical transparency, large numbers generated per fish and very straightforward husbandry. The current bottleneck in using zebrafish embryos for screening purposes is, however, a tedious manual evaluation to confirm the fertilization status and subsequent dispensing of single developing embryos to multitier plates to perform toxicity analysis. Manual procedures associated with sorting hundreds of embryos are very monotonous and as such prone to significant analytical errors due to operator’s fatigue. In this work, we present a proofof- concept design of a continuous flow embryo sorter capable of analyzing, sorting and dispensing objects ranging in size from 1.5 – 2.5 mm. The prototypes were fabricated in polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) transparent thermoplastic using infrared laser micromachining. The application of additive manufacturing processes to prototype Lab-on-a-Chip sorters using both fused deposition manufacturing (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA) were also explored. The operation of the device was based on a revolving receptacle capable of receiving, holding and positioning single fish embryos for both interrogation and subsequent sorting. The actuation of the revolving receptacle was performed using a DC motor and/or microservo motor. The system was designed to separate between fertilized (LIVE) and non-fertilized (DEAD) eggs, based on optical transparency using infrared (IR) emitters and receivers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 December 2013
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8923, Micro/Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems, 892347 (7 December 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2033406
Show Author Affiliations
Nurul Mohd Fuad, RMIT Univ. (Australia)
Donald Wlodkowic, RMIT Univ. (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8923:
Micro/Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems
James Friend; H. Hoe Tan, Editor(s)

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