Methodologies for coral polyps culture and real-time monitoring are important in investigating the effects of the global environmental changes on coral reefs and marine biology. However, the traditional cultivation method is limited in its ability to provide a rapid and dynamic microenvironment to effectively exchange the chemical substances and simulate the natural environment change. Here, an integrated microdevice with continuous perfusion and temperature-control in the microenvironment was fabricated for dynamic individual coral polyps culture. For a realistic mimicry of the marine ecological environment, we constructed the micro-well based microfluidics platform that created a fluid flow environment with a low shear rate and high substance transfer, and developed a sensitive temperature control system for the long-term culture of individual coral polyps. This miniaturized platform was applied to study the individual coral polyps in response to the temperature change for evaluating the coral death caused by El Nino. The experimental results demonstrated that the microfluidics platform could provide the necessary growth environment for coral polyps as expected so that in turn the biological activity of individual coral polyps can quickly be recovered. The separation between the algae and host polyp cells were observed in the high culture temperature range and the coral polyp metabolism was negatively affected. We believe that our culture platform for individual coral polyps can provide a reliable analytical approach for model and mechanism investigations of coral bleaching and reef conservation.
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