Microfluidics-integrated spaceflight hardware for measuring muscle strength of Caenorhabditis elegans on the International Space Station

dc.creatorSoni, Purushottam (TTU)
dc.creatorAnupom, Taslim (TTU)
dc.creatorLesanpezeshki, Leila (TTU)
dc.creatorRahman, Mizanur (TTU)
dc.creatorHewitt, Jennifer E (TTU)
dc.creatorVellone, Matthew
dc.creatorStodieck, Louis
dc.creatorBlawzdziewicz, Jerzy (TTU)
dc.creatorVanapalli, Siva A (TTU)
dc.descriptionOpen Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.en_US
dc.description.abstractCaenorhabditis elegans is a low-cost genetic model that has been flown to the International Space Station to investigate the influence of microgravity on changes in the expression of genes involved in muscle maintenance. These studies showed that genes that encode muscle attachment complexes have decreased expression under microgravity. However, it remains to be answered whether the decreased expression leads to concomitant changes in animal muscle strength, specifically across multiple generations. We recently reported the NemaFlex microfluidic device for the measurement of muscle strength of C. elegans (Rahman et al., Lab Chip, 2018). In this study, we redesign our original NemaFlex device and integrate it with flow control hardware for spaceflight investigations considering mixed animal culture, constraints on astronaut time, crew safety, and on-orbit operations. The technical advances we have made include (i) a microfluidic device design that allows animals of a given size to be sorted from unsynchronized cultures and housed in individual chambers, (ii) a fluid handling protocol for injecting the suspension of animals into the microfluidic device that prevents channel clogging, introduction of bubbles, and crowding of animals in the chambers, and (iii) a custom-built worm-loading apparatus interfaced with the microfluidic device that allows easy manipulation of the worm suspension and prevents fluid leakage into the surrounding environment. Collectively, these technical advances enabled the development of new microfluidics-integrated hardware for spaceflight studies in C. elegans. Finally, we report Earth-based validation studies to test this new hardware, which has led to it being flown to the International Space Station.en_US
dc.identifier.citationSoni, P., Anupom, T., Lesanpezeshki, L. et al. Microfluidics-integrated spaceflight hardware for measuring muscle strength of Caenorhabditis elegans on the International Space Station. npj Microgravity 8, 50 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41526-022-00241-4en_US
dc.subjectCaenorhabditis elegansen_US
dc.subjectgene expressionen_US
dc.subjectmuscle maintenanceen_US
dc.subjectNemaFlex microfluidic deviceen_US
dc.subjectanimal cultureen_US
dc.subjectfluid handling protocolen_US
dc.titleMicrofluidics-integrated spaceflight hardware for measuring muscle strength of Caenorhabditis elegans on the International Space Stationen_US


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