Dielectrophoresis of Caenorhabditis elegans

Lab Chip. 2011 Feb 21;11(4):599-604. doi: 10.1039/c0lc00532k. Epub 2011 Jan 11.


We demonstrate for the first time the dielectrophoretic trapping and manipulation of a whole animal, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We studied the effect of the electric field on the nematode as a function of field intensity and frequency. We identified a range of electric field intensities and frequencies that trap worms without apparent adverse effect on their viability. Worms tethered by dielectrophoresis (DEP) exhibit behavioral responses to blue light, indicating that at least some of the nervous system functions are unimpaired by the electrical field. DEP is useful to dynamically tether nematodes, sort nematodes according to size, and separate dead worms from live ones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / radiation effects
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / chemistry*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / radiation effects
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Electrophoresis*
  • Models, Theoretical