A homeostatic, chip-based platform for zebrafish larvae immobilization and long-term imaging

Timo Friedrich, Feng Zhu, Donald Wlodkowic, Jan Kaslin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

1 Citation (Scopus)


Zebrafish larvae are ideal for toxicology and drug screens due to their transparency, small size and similarity to humans on the genetic level. Using modern imaging techniques, cells and tissues can be dynamically visualised and followed over days in multiple zebrafish. Yet continued imaging experiments require specialized conditions such as: moisture and heat control to maintain specimen homeostasis. Chambers that control the environment are generally very expensive and are not always available for all imaging platforms. A highly customizable mounting configuration with built-in means of controlling temperature and media flow would therefore be a valuable tool for long term imaging experiments. Rapid prototyping using 3D printing is particularly suitable as a production method as it offers high flexibility in design, is widely available and allows a high degree of customizing. We study neural regeneration in zebrafish. Regeneration is limited in humans, but zebrafish recover from neural damage within days. Yet, the underlying regenerative mechanisms remain unclear. We developed an agarose based mounting system that holds the embryos in defined positions along removable strips. Homeostasis and temperature control is ensured by channels circulating buffer and heated water. This allows to image up to 120 larvae simultaneously for more than two days. Its flexibility and the low-volume, high larvae ratio will allow screening of small compound libraries. Taken together, we offer a low cost, highly adaptable solution for long term in-vivo imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781628418903
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium 2015 - The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 6 Dec 20159 Dec 2015


ConferenceSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium 2015
Internet address


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • custom mounting solutions
  • homeostasis

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