Automated sleep detection and deprivation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaste

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43HL092682-01A2
Agency Tracking Number: HL092682
Amount: $133,353.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2009-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 961721610
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (785) 832-8866
Business Contact
Phone: (785) 832-8866
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Within the last seven years, Drosophila melanogaster or common fruit fly has been shown to be an invertebrate animal model for exploring genetic and proteomic mechanisms underlying sleep. While a great deal of progress has been made in the field of Drosophila sleep research using available tools, there currently exists no instrument designed specifically for the accurate observation, recording and analysis of sleep (immobility) periods in the fruit fly. This proposal outlines a system explicitly designed to detect small amounts of motion in Drosophila and, therefore, estimate sleep more accurately than any available system. In conjunction with this detection device, we also propose the design of a mechanized system capable of automatically sleep depriving individual flies through a fully-programmable computerized interface. Accomplishment of these specific aims will involve a collaborative effort between Pinnacle Technology and the world-renowned Drosophila research team at The University of Pennsylvania. System prototyping and initial design will be undertaken by Pinnacle Technology while testing and refinement of the system will be accomplished by the University of Pennsylvania team. These two features, detection of small movements and automated individual sleep deprivation, combined and designed specifically to record and automatically analyze sleep in the fly, will provide a new and powerful tool for Drosophila researchers to explore the basic genetics underlying sleep. Technological innovations of this system will include enhanced video recognition software, mechanisms to observe up to 10 flies with a single, low-cost video camera and the technology to selectively deprive individual flies of sleep based on automated analysis. Commercial applications of such a device are already being sought by major pharmaceutical companies as they explore new ways of screening new compounds for improved sleep. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: It is estimated that at least 40 million Americans suffer each year from chronic, long-term sleep disorders while an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems. Economically, poor sleep accounts for an estimated 16 billion in medical costs each year and the indirect costs of lost productivity and other factors are known to be much higher. While the links between inadequate sleep and poor health and productivity are becoming more and more clear, there is a dire need to understand the basic causes and biological need for sleep.

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

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