Developmental biology explores the chain of events taking place at each stage of development from the very moment the zygote is formed. One of the main goals of developmental biology is to understand how the different cell types that constitute a multicellular organism are specified during its development. This study enables the discovery and understanding of the genes at work which allow an organism to develop into a happy, healthy adult. To understand the different mechanisms of gene expression regulation that control this process, the ability to perform quantitative phenotyping assays is crucial.
Many of the current phenotyping methods require days of training and yield results that are difficult to quantify. In addition, these methods are not standardized between labs, making results variable and reducing reproducibility.
Introducing the ScreenChip System: a platform for studying developmental biology
Synchronized recording of electrical activity and feeding behavior of in an adult C. elegans worm.
Developmental biology is a highly qualitative discipline, which means phenotypes can become difficult to classify and quantify. It is also dependent on knowledge and experience, varying from one researcher to another. Unlike current methods, the ScreenChip phenotyping platform allows you to:
Get consistent and reliable data even from early developmental stages
Fig. 1: (Left) The C. elegans life cycle. Clock circle indicates hours of development after fertilization at 25°C (image from what-when-how.com). (Right) Pharyngeal pumping recordings from various nematode larvae.
Obtain real-time, quantifiable measurements throughout development
Fig. 2: The channel of each ScreenChip is sized to gently immobilize worms and gather accurate data from the first larval stage to mature adults. Panels in above image show the first and fourth larval stages as well as young (day 1) and old (day 15) adults.
Gather data relevant to early developmental diseases and disorders
Fig. 3: The effect of cholesterol was measured in early development by recording the electrical signal of L1 stage worms grown on plates with cholesterol as well as plates made without the addition of cholesterol. The lack of cholesterol affects pharyngeal pumping and leads to both a longer interpump interval (above, A) and a lower mean pumping frequency (above, B; ** p < 0.005).