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Open AccessArticle

Microfluidic Device to Measure the Speed of C. elegans Using the Resistance Change of the Flexible Electrode

Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Center for Micro-Nano Mechatronics, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Center for Intelligent Systems Research, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong 3216, Australia
Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Meijo University, Shiogamaguchi, Tenpa-ku, Nagoya 468-0073, Japan
Intelligent Robotics Institute, School of Mechatronic Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 5 South Zhongguancun Street, Beijing 100081, China
Medical Device Development Center, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation (DGMIF), 80 Cheombok-Ro, Dong-gu, Daegu 41061, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nam-Trung Nguyen, Toshio Fukuda, Mohd Ridzuan bin Ahmad and Yajing Shen
Micromachines 2016, 7(3), 50;
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 19 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Robotics)
This work presents a novel method to assess the condition of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) through a resistance measurement of its undulatory locomotion speed inside a micro channel. As the worm moves over the electrode inside the micro channel, the length of the electrode changes, consequently behaving like a strain gauge. In this paper, the electrotaxis was applied for controlling the direction of motion of C. elegans as an external stimulus, resulting in the worm moving towards the cathode of the circuit. To confirm the proposed measurement method, a microfluidic device was developed that employs a sinusoidal channel and a thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer with an electrode. The PDMS layer maintains a porous structure to enable the flexibility of the electrode. In this study, 6 measurements were performed to obtain the speed of an early adult stage C. elegans, where the measured average speed was 0.35 (±0.05) mm/s. The results of this work demonstrate the application of our method to measure the speed of C. elegans undulatory locomotion. This novel approach can be applied to make such measurements without an imaging system, and more importantly, allows directly to detect the locomotion of C. elegans using an electrical signal (i.e., the change in resistance). View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidic device; C. elegans; flexible electrode microfluidic device; C. elegans; flexible electrode
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Jung, J.; Nakajima, M.; Takeuchi, M.; Najdovski, Z.; Huang, Q.; Fukuda, T. Microfluidic Device to Measure the Speed of C. elegans Using the Resistance Change of the Flexible Electrode. Micromachines 2016, 7, 50.

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