Microfluidics and Artificial Intelligence Help Sort Mutant Nematodes

Scientists have developed an automated system that uses advanced image processing and artificial intelligence for detecting subtle differences in nematodes used for biological research.

Georgia Tech associate professor Hang Lu holds a microfluidic chip that is part of a system that uses artificial intelligence and cutting-edge image processing to automatically examine large number of nematodes used for genetic research. Credit: Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

They have examined the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode that possesses 302 neurons. These have well-defined synapses, though their thickness is lesser than that of a hair strand and length is lesser than a millimeter. These nematodes are commonly used in biological research.

Tiny multi-cellular animals are used in the study of genetic factors that underlie progression of illness and mechanisms of disease. Manual microscopic visual examination is normally performed. The latest method uses automated hardware and microfluidics that can identify subtle differences, such as genetic mutations, between one worm and another. It enables examination of thousands of worms within a short period of time.

The study was lead by Georgia Institute of Technology associate professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Hang Lu. The team is studying genes linked to the development of the human brain. They are conducting research on genes that affect development and formation of synapses in C. elegans worms. They created genomic mutations in thousands of worms and then studied the changes in the synapses. Fluorescent proteins were used for labeling synapses of specific neurons.

Incorrect developmental patterns due to genetic mutations are identified by observing the differences between normal or "wild type" worms and the mutants. Earlier, the researchers had developed a "worm sorter" for increasing the speed of examining the worms. The present study optimized this method and a camera was used to record the images of individual worms in three dimensions. The system compared the worms which were then sorted. This automated technique can be used in other research areas that depend on detecting the difference in brightness, size or shape.

The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have supported the study, which has been published in the journal Nature Methods.

Source: http://www.gatech.edu/

Will Soutter

Written by

Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Georgia Institute of Technology. (2019, February 12). Microfluidics and Artificial Intelligence Help Sort Mutant Nematodes. AZoNano. Retrieved on February 29, 2024 from https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25415.

  • MLA

    Georgia Institute of Technology. "Microfluidics and Artificial Intelligence Help Sort Mutant Nematodes". AZoNano. 29 February 2024. <https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25415>.

  • Chicago

    Georgia Institute of Technology. "Microfluidics and Artificial Intelligence Help Sort Mutant Nematodes". AZoNano. https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25415. (accessed February 29, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Georgia Institute of Technology. 2019. Microfluidics and Artificial Intelligence Help Sort Mutant Nematodes. AZoNano, viewed 29 February 2024, https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=25415.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.