Detecting and Trapping of a Single C. elegans Worm in a Microfluidic Chip for Automated Microplate Dispensing

Israel T. Desta, Abdelrazak Al-Sharif, Nour AlGharibeh, Nahal Mustafa, Ajymurat Orozaliev, Nikolaos Giakoumidis, Kristin C. Gunsalus, Yong Ak Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microfluidic devices offer new technical possibilities for a precise manipulation of Caenorhabditis elegans due to the comparable length scale. C. elegans is a small, free-living nematode worm that is a popular model system for genetic, genomic, and high-throughput experimental studies of animal development and neurobiology. In this paper, we demonstrate a microfluidic system in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for dispensing of a single C. elegans worm into a 96-well plate. It consists of two PDMS layers, a flow and a control layer. Using five microfluidic pneumatic valves in the control layer, a single worm is trapped upon optical detection with a pair of optical fibers integrated perpendicular to the constriction channel and then dispensed into a microplate well with a dispensing tip attached to a robotic handling system. Due to its simple design and facile fabrication, we expect that our microfluidic chip can be expanded to a multiplexed dispensation system of C. elegans worms for high-throughput drug screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalSLAS Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • C. elegans worm
  • dispensing
  • flow cytometry
  • high-throughput screening
  • microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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