Unidirectional, electrotactic-response valve for Caenorhabditis elegans in microfluidic devices
We report a nematode electrotactic-response valve (NERV) to control the locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in microfluidic devices. This nonmechanical, unidirectional valve is based on creating a confined region of lateral electric field that is switchable and reversible. We observed that C. elegans do not prefer to pass through this region if the field lines are incident to its forward movement. Upon reaching the boundary of the NERV, the incident worms partially penetrate the field region, pull back, and turn around. The NERV is tested on three C. elegans mutants: wild-type (N2), lev-8, and acr-16.
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