Automated microfluidic compact disc (CD) cultivation system of Caenorhabditis elegans

Nahui Kim, Catherine M. Dempsey, Jim V. Zoval, Ji Ying Sze, Marc J. Madou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Microfabricated platforms for automated cultivation and behavioral observation of animals would be a valuable tool in physiological and genetic studies. We report an automated microfluidic compact disc (CD) system specialized for cultivating and monitoring Caenorhabditis elegans, proficient in automated feeding, waste removal and live-animal microscopy. The automated CD cultivation platform contains cultivation, nutrient, and waste chamber, channels connecting the chambers, and venting holes. The feeding and waste removal processes are achieved automatically using centrifugal force driven fluidics. Compared to other microfluidic technologies for moving small amounts of fluidic or suspended particles from site to site, this centrifuge-based system is well suited for functions such as flow sequencing, mixing, capillary measuring, and switching. Those functions can be implemented by exploiting centrifugal, coriolis and capillary forces combined with specific microfluidic network. Thus, the CD cultivating system has the capacity to incorporate diverse molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological assays for real-time physiological and behavioral tests of live-animals. This compact and fully automated microfabricated platform is designed to address the unique requirements of space biology due to the stringent limitations on power, size, weight, and crew intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 26 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal assay
  • Automated cultivation system
  • C. elegans
  • Microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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