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Effectively controlled microfluidic trap for spatiotemporal analysis of the electrotaxis of Caenorhabditis elegans

Yoon, Sunhee, Yeo, Mingu, Kim, Hoon, Jeon, Tae‐Joon, Kim, Sun Min
Electrophoresis 2019 v.40 no.3 pp. 431-436
Caenorhabditis elegans, cathodes, electric field, electrophoresis, genes, genomics, mutants, neural networks, screening
C. elegans is a popular model organism with a well‐developed neural network. Approximately 60% of the genes in C. elegans have genomic counterparts in humans, including those involved in building neural circuits. Therefore, we can extend the study of human neural network mechanisms to C. elegans which is easy to genetically manipulate. C. elegans shows behavioural responses to various external physical and chemical stimuli. Electrotaxis is one of its distinct behavioural responses, which is defined as movement towards the cathode in an electric field. In this study, we developed an effective microfluidic trap system for analysing electrotaxis in C. elegans. In addition, two mutant strains (unc‐54(s74) and unc‐6(e78)) from wild‐type (N2) worms were screened using the system. Wild‐type (N2) worms and the two mutant strains clearly showed different behavioural responses to the applied electric field, thus enabling the effective screening of the mutant worms from the wild type (N2). This microfluidic system can be utilized as a platform for the study of behavioural responses, and for the sorting and mutant screening of C. elegans.