Worms, brains & chips

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Recently, I’ve written a couple of posts about the use of microfluidics-based devices in neurobiology research.

First, I wrote about microfluidics chips for imaging neuronal activity and behaviour in the nematode worm, and then about chips for culturing neurons

Today, Technology Review has an article about the use of this technology in developing drug treatments for Parkinson’s disease:

Mehmet Fatih Yanik, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, is developing microfluidic devices that could greatly facilitate experiments, including whole-genome screening and drug testing, on…C. elegans.

In one type of experiment possible with the new microfluidic device, worms on the chip can be treated with compounds for high-throughput drug screens. Such automated drug screens, which are currently performed on single cells, have not been practical in whole, live animals in the past.