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Laboratory Activity Using Accessible Microfluidics to Study Nematode Behavior in an Electrical Field

    Authors: Elizabeth D. Clawson1, Val Blair1,*, Julia F. Nepper2, Matthew D. Stilwell2, Travis Tangen3, Douglas B. Weibel2,4,5
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI 53715; 2: Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706; 3: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison, WI 53726; 4: Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706; 5: Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 06 December 2017 Accepted 07 January 2018 Published 27 April 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Morgridge Institute for Research, 330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI 53715. Phone: 608-316-4691. Fax: 608-316-4609 E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1551
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    Abstract:

    Microfluidic devices are used in a broad range of technological applications, from creating ingredients for cosmetics to discovering new medicines. The small size of microfluidic channels makes it possible to isolate individual cells, collections of cells, and multicellular organisms and study their biology, ecology, and behavior. Microfluidics is particularly well suited to teaching students concepts from different fields of science. A challenge with conventional microfluidic devices is that they are difficult and expensive to make, which has been a barrier for their entry into curricula and classrooms. We describe a simple and low-cost method for creating microfluidic devices and use them to study the behavior of nematodes in an electrical field. Nematodes are ecologically and agriculturally important organisms that respond robustly to various environmental cues. In this activity, we demonstrate that nematodes swim through liquid in microfluidic channels in response to an applied electric field and describe student responses to this activity.

References & Citations

1. Whitesides GM 2006 The origins and the future of microfluidics Nature 442 368 373 10.1038/nature05058 16871203 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05058
2. Friend J, Yeo L 2010 Fabrication of microfluidic devices using polydimethylsiloxane Biomicrofluidics 4 2 026502 10.1063/1.3259624 20697575 2917889 http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3259624
3. Yuen PK, Goral VN 2010 Low-cost rapid prototyping of flexible microfluidic devices using a desktop digital craft cutter Lab Chip 10 384 387 10.1039/B918089C 20091012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/B918089C
4. Stilwell MD, Nepper JF, Clawson ED, Blair V, Tangen T, Weibel DB 2017 Exploring predatory nematode chemotaxis using low-cost and easy-to-use microfluidics Am Biol Teach 44 9 753 762 10.1525/abt.2017.79.9.753 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/abt.2017.79.9.753
5. Shapiro-Ilan DI, Han R, Dolinksi C 2012 Entomopathogenic nematode production and application technology J Nematol 44 2 206 217
6. Griff in CT 2012 Perspectives on the behavior of entomopathogenic nematodes from dispersal to reproduction: traits contributing to nematode fitness and biocontrol efficacy J Nematol 44 2 177 184
7. Shapiro-Ilan DI, Gaugler R Nematodes Biological control: a guide to natural enemies in North America Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences n.d. Web 25 May 2017 https://biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/pathogens/nematodes.php
8. Dillman AR, Guillermin ML, Lee JH, Kim B, Sternberg PW, Hallem EA 2012 Olfaction shapes host–parasite interactions in parasitic nematodes Proc Natl Acad Sci 109 35 E2324 E2333 10.1073/pnas.1211436109 22851767 3435218 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211436109
9. Hallem EA, Dillman AR, Hong AV, Zhang Y, Yano JM, DeMarco SF, Sternberg PW 2011 A sensory code for host seeking in parasitic nematodes Curr Biol 21 5 377 383 10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.048 21353558 3152378 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.048
10. Ilan T, Kim-Shapiro DB, Bock CH, Shapiro-Ilan DI 2013 Magnetic and electric fields induce directional responses in Steinernema carpocapsae Int J Parasitol 43 10 781 784 10.1016/j.ijpara.2013.05.007 23792299 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2013.05.007
11. Shapiro-Ilan DI, Lewis EE, Campbell JF, Kim-Shapiro DB 2011 Directional movement of entomopathogenic nematodes in response to electrical field: effects of species, magnitude of voltage, and infective juvenile age J Invertebr Pathol 109 34 40 10.1016/j.jip.2011.09.004 21945052 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2011.09.004

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2018-04-27
2019-07-24

Abstract:

Microfluidic devices are used in a broad range of technological applications, from creating ingredients for cosmetics to discovering new medicines. The small size of microfluidic channels makes it possible to isolate individual cells, collections of cells, and multicellular organisms and study their biology, ecology, and behavior. Microfluidics is particularly well suited to teaching students concepts from different fields of science. A challenge with conventional microfluidic devices is that they are difficult and expensive to make, which has been a barrier for their entry into curricula and classrooms. We describe a simple and low-cost method for creating microfluidic devices and use them to study the behavior of nematodes in an electrical field. Nematodes are ecologically and agriculturally important organisms that respond robustly to various environmental cues. In this activity, we demonstrate that nematodes swim through liquid in microfluidic channels in response to an applied electric field and describe student responses to this activity.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Diagram of nematodes in zones under microscope. Nematodes respond to an applied electric field by moving through different zones of a microfluidic channel.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1551
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Microfluidic setup for the electrotaxis activity. A 9V battery supplies an electric field across a microfluidic channel.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1551
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Activity Concept Map. An overview of suggested preparation and timing for activity (see Appendix 5 for full size image).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1551
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 4

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FIGURE 4

Analysis of student engagement (=40). An engagement score of 3 or above is considered to be a high level of engagement based on the validated activation survey.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1551
Download as Powerpoint

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