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The soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an excellent model organism for the study of numerous disease including neurodegenerative disease. In this study, a programmable microvalve-based microfluidic array for real-time and long-term monitoring of the neurotoxin-induced responses of the individual C. elegans was developed. The device consisted of a flow layer and a control layer, which were used for worm manipulation. By activating the programmable microvalves in the control layer, mutiple worms could be individually captured and intermittently immobilized in parallel channels. Thus the mobility behavior, together with the corresponding dopaminergic neuron features of the worms in response to neurotoxin, could be investigated simultaneously. It was found that the neurotoxin enabled to induce mobility defects and dopaminergic neurons loss in worms. The established system is easy and fast to operate, which offers not only the controllable microenvironment for analyzing the individual worms in parallel, monitoring the same worm over time, but also the capability to characterize the mobility behavior and neuron features in response to stimuli simultaneously. In addition, the device enabled to sustain the worm culture over most of their adult lifespan without any harm to worm, providing a potential platform for lifespan and aging research.


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