Despite the widespread use of zebrafish, automated research tools for working with zebrafish embryos have not developed at the same pace as the research methodologies. Currently for genotyping, embryos are grown to adult age (two to three months) before manual fin clipping which requires a trained technician four to six hours to prepare cells and genotype 96 fish; as well as the effort and expenses of raising more adult fish than may be ultimately needed.
Alternatively, zebrafish embryos or larvae can be sacrificed and genotyped. If individual animals need to be distinctly genotyped this is even more laborious, and obviously additional testing or use of the animals is not possible.
The Zebrafish Embryonic Genotyper (ZEG) is an automated microfluidic system that extracts genetic material from live zebrafish embryos. The genetic material can then be used for downstream DNA amplification, identification, and analysis. The ZEG has rapid extraction, with 96 embryos being sampled in an hour. Furthermore, the sampling process is non-destructive meaning the embryos can be sampled, and then be raised to adulthood.
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Dr. Raheel Samuel, the co-founder of wFluidx which built the ZEG joined Invivo Biosystems on 17 Minutes of Science to talk more about the ZEG and his work developing tools for zebrafish research.
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