System for comprehensive tracking and analysis of C. elegans behaviors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43ES017180-01
Agency Tracking Number: ES017180
Amount: $149,583.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 787008242
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (802) 288-9290
Business Contact
Phone: (802) 288-9290
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), is a promising model organism to assess the effects of potential developmental and neurological toxicants on multi-cellular organisms. However, to determine the po ssibility of using C. elegans as a practical and efficient model in toxicology studies, medium throughput technologies must be created to monitor phenotypic characteristics including growth, size, reproduction, feeding, and movement. Methods in current pra ctice are not conducive to medium-throughput studies because they are often manual and laborious to perform. There is a noticeable lack of computerized automated quantitative C. elegans analysis tools that perform well in the presence of differing experime ntal conditions. We propose to develop a commercial product that will be composed of a computerized microscope system that allows investigators to perform advanced automated, quantitative analyses of the locomotion and other complex behaviors of freely mov ing C. elegans nematodes. We believe that introduction of a robust commercial software solution will significantly contribute to further replacement and reduction of conventional toxicology tests by alternative in vivo toxicology assays using C. elegans. P ublic Health Relevance: The proposed project will enable research using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), to occur at a faster pace than is currently feasible by allowing complex and laborious tasks currently performed manually to be done automatically. This will allow researchers to increase the throughput of studies involving quantitative behavioral analysis. The overall effect of this project will significantly improve the productivity and effectiveness of research in such diverse fields as toxicology, environmental monitoring, ecology and neuroscience research.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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