Amplitude modulated sinusoidal microchannels for observing adaptability in C. elegans locomotion



Santosh Pandey


We present a movement-based assay to observe adaptability in Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion behavior. The assay comprises a series of sinusoidal microchannels with a fixed wavelength and modulating (increasing or decreasing) amplitude. The channel width is comparable to the body diameter of the organism. Worms are allowed to enter the channel from the input port and migrate toward the output port. Within channel sections that closely match the worm’s natural undulations, the worm movement is relatively quick and steady. As the channel amplitude increases or decreases along the device, the worm faces difficulty in generating the propulsive thrust, begins to slow down and eventually fails to move forward. A set of locomotion parameters (i.e., average forward velocity, number and duration of stops, range of contact angle, and cut-off region) is defined for worm locomotion in modulated sinusoidal channels and extracted from the recorded videos. The device is tested on wild-type C. elegans (N2) and two mutants (lev-8 and unc-38). We anticipate this passive, movement-based assay can be used to screen nematodes showing difference in locomotion phenotype. ACKNOWLEDGMENT


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