In this work, we present development of a miniaturized Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) platform for automation and enhancement of acute ecotoxicity test based on immobilization of a freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna (Daphtoxkit-FTM). Daphnids’ immobilization in response to sudden changes in environment parameters is fast, unambiguous, and easy to record optically. We also for the first time demonstrate that LOC system enables studies of sub-lethal ecotoxic effects using behavioral responses of Daphnia magna as sentinels of water pollution.
The system working principle incorporated a high definition (HD) time-resolved video data analysis to dynamically assess impact of the reference toxicant on swimming behavior of D. magna. Our system design combined: (i) microfluidic device for caging of Daphnia sp.; (ii) mechatronic interface for fluidic actuation; (iii) video data acquisition; and (iv) algorithms for animal movement tracking and analysis.