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Trainee designs microfluidic device

Research Achievements

Trainee designs microfluidic device

C. elegans is a nematode widely used in neuroscience because of its simple nervous system. Its mapped genome enables it to serve as a screen for novel mutations linked to neuropathologies. Visual screens require significant amounts of manual operations and can be very time consuming. In recent years, researchers have coupled microfluidic devices with genetic screening methods of C. elegans to perform high-throughput experiments. Ivan designed a microfluidic device capable of passively orienting nematodes into lateral orientations by exploiting device channel geometry. By utilizing curved channel designs, Ivan’s device can position animals into lateral orientations greater than 80% of instances, when compared to less than 25% using traditional straight channel methods. To verify this new technique, Ivan performed a genetic pilot screen of over 10,000 C. elegans on-chip, and isolated 6 mutations that are suspected to be involved with neurodegeneration and development genes.