9 December 2016 Optical tracking of embryonic vertebrates behavioural responses using automated time-resolved video-microscopy system
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Abstract
The fish embryo toxicity (FET) biotest performed on embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) has gained significant popularity as a rapid and inexpensive alternative approach in chemical hazard and risk assessment. The FET was designed to evaluate acute toxicity on embryonic stages of fish exposed to the test chemical. The current standard, similar to most traditional methods for evaluating aquatic toxicity provides, however, little understanding of effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of chemical stressors.

We postulate that significant environmental effects such as altered motor functions, physiological alterations reflected in heart rate, effects on development and reproduction can occur at sub-lethal concentrations well below than LC10. Behavioral studies can, therefore, provide a valuable integrative link between physiological and ecological effects. Despite the advantages of behavioral analysis development of behavioral toxicity, biotests is greatly hampered by the lack of dedicated laboratory automation, in particular, user-friendly and automated video microscopy systems.

In this work we present a proof-of-concept development of an optical system capable of tracking embryonic vertebrates behavioral responses using automated and vastly miniaturized time-resolved video-microscopy. We have employed miniaturized CMOS cameras to perform high definition video recording and analysis of earliest vertebrate behavioral responses. The main objective was to develop a biocompatible embryo positioning structures that were suitable for high-throughput imaging as well as video capture and video analysis algorithms. This system should support the development of sub-lethal and behavioral markers for accelerated environmental monitoring.
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Milanga Walpitagama, Jan Kaslin, Dayanthi Nugegoda, Donald Wlodkowic, "Optical tracking of embryonic vertebrates behavioural responses using automated time-resolved video-microscopy system", Proc. SPIE 10013, SPIE BioPhotonics Australasia, 1001327 (9 December 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2242828; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242828
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