Fast Automated DNA Extraction for Live Zebrafish Embryos

wFluidx is a startup company formed in 2018 by experts in the fields of medicine, zebrafish, and microfluidics.

Our motivation is to accelerate research using zebrafish, and enable novel applications of zebrafish in applied genomics and drug discovery.  We are excited to bring our first technology for global distribution (live zebrafish embryo DNA extraction).  The continuing mission of wFluidx is to bring new technologies to market by leading commercialization efforts in collaboration with research institutes.

The Problem.

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 wFluidx Solution.

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.

Other benefits of the ZEG system include robust to detecting different genotypes and the ZEG is simple to use, with few moving parts. The ZEG also offers a significant savings of time and money. Zebrafish can be sampled at the embryonic stage and can be sampled in a fraction of the time required by fin-clipping.

ZEG research & development has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, USA with strong collaboration with zebrafish labs around the globe. The ZEG is a critical tool that can add value to the efforts of research teams that rely on zebrafish models.

The ZEG Solution

The Zebrafish Embryonic Genotyper (ZEG) is a microfluidic system that extracts genetic material from live zebrafish embryos within a few days of their birth. The genetic material is then collected for subsequent DNA amplification & detection.

Benefits of ZEG

  • Rapid detection, 96 embryos in an hour
  • Live genotyping of embryos that can be raised to adulthood
  • Does not require investment in training skilled personnel or purchasing expensive capital equipment
  • Offers a significant savings of time and money
  • Makes possible experiments and screening strategies that are not possible with existing technology