A Multipurpose Microfluidic Device for Recording Lifespan and Conducting Aging Investigations in Nematodes

Technology #d-1084

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Siva A. Vanapali, Ph.D.
Dr. Vanapali's research interests include microfluidics, fluid mechanics of drops, polymer solutions and cells, tumor cell mechanics and cancer diagnostics, devices for drug screening, and devices for C. elegans biology.
External Link (www.depts.ttu.edu)
Mizanur Rahman, Ph.D.
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David Snow
Director Intellectual Property 806-834-4989
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
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Exercise_Improves_Strength_and_Confers_Extended_Healthspan_on_Swim-trained_C._elegans.pdf [PDF]


Nematodes, especially C. elegans, have proven to be an effective model organism to investigate aging biology, neurodegenerative disorders, and age-related diseases.  However, manual analysis of experiments related to the health and lifespan of nematodes can be highly labor-intensive, limiting experimental throughput.   

This new microfluidic device offers a method to remove progeny while efficiently retaining the adult worms in the device.  The multi-purpose device can be used to measure lifespan curves, record health span measures, conduct drug and RNAi assays, and quantify muscle strength as a function of age.  The device also provides the ability to add or remove reagents at any point, enabling novel cross-sectional and longitudinal aging experiments.

Reference Number: D-1084

Market Applications:

  • The technology can be utilized by scientists working with nematodes, especially those investigating aging biology, neurodegenerative disorders, and age-related diseases.
  • Scientific Research

Features, Benefits & Advantages: 

  • Streamlines the nematode experimental process
  • Provides a myriad of functions from a single device
  • Ability to add or subtract reagents at any time
  • Small footprint

Intellectual Property:

  • A Provisional Patent Application, Serial 62/173,888 was filed on 6/10/15.

Development Stage:

  • The inventors have produced and tested the invention.


  • Siva A. Vanapali, Ph.D., Whitacre College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas Tech University , Lubbock, TX.
  • Mizanur Rahman, PhD candidate, Whitacre College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas Tech University , Lubbock, TX.

Keywords: Caenorhaditis elegans, Microfluidic, aging, Lifespan, genetic screens