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Title: Paper-Supported High-Throughput 3D Culturing, Trapping, and Monitoring of Caenorhabditis Elegans
We developed an innovative paper-based platform for high-throughput culturing, trapping, and monitoring of C. elegans. A 96-well array was readily fabricated by placing a nutrient-replenished paper substrate on a micromachined 96-well plastic frame, providing high-throughput 3D culturing environments and in situ analysis of the worms. The paper allows C. elegans to pass through the porous and aquatic paper matrix until the worms grow and reach the next developmental stages with the increased body size comparable to the paper pores. When the diameter of C. elegans becomes larger than the pore size of the paper substrate, the worms are trapped and immobilized for further high-throughput imaging and analysis. This work will offer a simple yet powerful technique for high-throughput sorting and monitoring of C. elegans at a different larval stage by controlling and choosing different pore sizes of paper. Furthermore, we developed another type of 3D culturing system by using paper-like transparent polycarbonate substrates for higher resolution imaging. The device used the multi-laminate structure of the polycarbonate layers as a scaffold to mimic the worm’s 3D natural habitats. Since the substrate is thin, mechanically strong, and largely porous, the layered structure allowed C. elegans to move and behave freely in 3D more » and promoted the efficient growth of both C. elegans and their primary food, E. coli. The transparency of the structure facilitated visualization of the worms under a microscope. Development, fertility, and dynamic behavior of C. elegans in the 3D culture platform outperformed those of the standard 2D cultivation technique. « less
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National Science Foundation
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