LCZ200: A High-through Drug Screeing Platform
LCZ200 a fully automated drug or chemical screening apparatus developed by Life Chip to provide a high-throughput, large scale study platform tailored for tracing the dose responses of larvae in time course experiments.
The apparatus is designed for researchers from a wide-range of industries to perform screening of drugs or chemicals within zebrafish larvae (in vivo) at a significantly faster rate than other products currently on the market whilst reducing the tedious manual labor involved in zebrafish preparation.
The core technology of LCZ200 is our patented microfluidic chip design, which presents multiple novel and unique features not seen in previous products on the market of its category.
LCZ-200 is capable to handle up to 256 individual zebrafish embryos or larvae, automatically exposing to multiple sets of chemical/drug gradients based on microfluidic solution dispensing.
The apparatus has 4 main components: microfluidic chip, scanner, precision pump and software.
Instead of traditional one by one handling, sample loading is done by simply dispensing a single drop of solution with hundreds of embryos, each microwell will be populated with a single embryo when liquid level is dropped that drives the flow of embryos towards the microwells.
Once fishes are hatched, liquid level will further drop to direct larva towards the fish tanks.
After larvae transfer, the loading layer will be detached from the incubation chip. In this way, all embryo shells are removed in a single step and mold contamination is effectively prevented without using fungicide.
By this “fish-dock” mechanism, automatic and anesthesia free orientation control is achieved. Orientation control is critical to capture clear images of internal organs.
The microfluidic system is optimized for long term incubation.
Our microfluidic chips are designed in different versions to fit the needs of experiments. In our advance design, a microfluidic concentration gradient generator has been incorporated into the fish chip for delivery and dosing of chemicals such as drug candidates, nucleic acids, proteins/enzymes and tagged antibodies to the fishes in target chambers.
The scanner is capable of high-throughput and automated image acquisition. It is mounted with a microscope in conjunction with a CMOS camera for taking high definition photos and videos.
The syringe precision pump is used to pump drug or chemical fluid under test into incubation chambers. It keeps a stable flow into the microfluidic chip during the fish culture period. Each pump can hold up to 8 syringes.
The syringe pump and image/data acquisition are controlled by a software interface. High-definition photos and videos of each zebrafish embryo or larvae sitting inside the microfluidic chip in a time course experiment can be taken with computer-controlled automation program.