September 6, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to find out more. Can't find the information you are looking for? Contact us with your question at support@newormics.com.

General Questions

What is the vivoChip™-2x platform?

The vivoChip™-2x platform is a microfluidic-based technology that streamlines C. elegans immobilization by aligning them in parallel for high-resolution imaging. The platform has a proprietary design to immobilize animals in 40 parallel channels within 3 minutes, while orienting them in their lateral axis for repeatable high-resolution imaging at high speeds.

The vivoChip™ platform was developed by Adela Ben-Yakar’s group at The University of Texas at Austin for large-scale high-throughput drug screening using C. elegans disease models. The details of these studies can be found in the following publications:

High-Content Microfluidic Screening Platform Used To Identify σ2R/Tmem97 Binding Ligands that Reduce Age-Dependent Neurodegeneration in C. elegans SC_APP Model. Sudip Mondal, Evan Hegarty, James J. Sahn, Luisa L. Scott, Sertan Kutal Gökçe, Chris Martin, Navid Ghorashian, Praveen Navoda Satarasinghe, Sangeetha Iyer, Wisath Sae-Lee, Timothy R. Hodges, Jonathan T. Pierce, Stephen F. Martin, & Adela Ben-Yakar.  ACS Chemical Neuroscience. May 16 2018. 9(5):1014-1026.

Large-Scale Microfluidics Providing High-Resolution and High-Throughput Screening of Caenorhabditis elegans Poly-glutamine Aggregation Model. Sudip Mondal, Evan Hegarty, Chris Martin, Sertan Kutal Gökçe, Navid Ghorashian, & Adela Ben-Yakar. Nature Communications. Oct 11 2016. 7:13023.

What is included in the vivoChip™ package?

The complete package includes:

vivoCube™ Automated fluid control unit with simple push-button operation.

vivoChip™-2x The set includes 4 chips for your preferred life-cycle stages (2 devices per chip=8 immobilization devices) with a thin glass bottom for high-resolution imaging. More chips can be included as needed.

Starter pack Microfluidic accessories and tools to run the vivoChips.

    • • Media bottle with tubing and valves
    • • Syringe
    • • Filters
    • • Anaesthetic loading tubing
    • • Pliers
    • • Upright microscope adapter

User manual with detailed installation steps, troubleshooting tips, and various protocols to help facilitate imaging using vivoChips.

One-hour video call to assist you with the platform installation and to familiarize you with the operating protocols. By the end of the one-hour call, our customers are ready to acquire high-resolution images of animals aligned inside the microfluidic chip

 

What does a vivoChip™-2x look like? 

Each vivoChip™-2x is a single, transparent-polymer PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) block on a thin #1.0 glass substrate of 130-170 µm thickness. The PDMS block contains two independent immobilization devices. Each device comprises 40 trapping channels, one inlet port, and one outlet port. A standard set of vivoChip™-2x includes a pack of 4 vivoChip™-2x chips (8 devices in total). Below is a schematic of a single vivoChip™-2x chip with two independent devices (denoted by blue and red colors below, although they are not colored on the actual chip). Find out more about the vivoChip™-2x here.

vivoChip™-2x packs include all tubing and connectors for connecting to the vivoCube™. Customers can buy appropriate vivoChip™-2x chip packs as consumables to be used with the vivoCube™ for experiments.

 

Technical questions

Can I reuse the vivoChip™ devices?

Yes, Newormics recommends 3-4 uses for every vivoChip™ device. The user manual, provided with the product, has instructions and precautions that could improve the life of these devices even further. Some customers report using the chips for 2-3x more usages than recommended in our instructions.

What is the shelf life of vivoChip™?

The shelf life of the vivoChip™ is at least 6 months.

Is the system compatible with my local power outlets?

Yes, Newormics can supply an appropriate voltage converter and a power plug that is appropriate for each customer’s location.

What do you need to use the vivoChip™ platform in a worm lab?

All you need is your worms, your preferred worm buffer (M9, S Basal, or Phosphate buffer), and an inverted or upright microscope for imaging.

Imaging C. elegans

What stage animals can be immobilized in the vivoChip™ platform?

Newormics offers vivoChip™-2x in three different immobilization device sizes to immobilize C. elegans starting from larval 1 (L1) stage up to day 5 (D5) adults.

vivoChip™-2x L4-YA - This package includes 8 immobilization devices (4 vivoChips) to immobilize larva 4 to young adult stage animals.
vivoChip™-2x D1-D5 - This package includes 8 immobilization devices (4 vivoChips) to immobilize day 1 to day 5 adult stage animals.
vivoChip™-2x L1-L2 - This package includes 8 immobilization devices (4 vivoChips) to immobilize larval 1 to early larval 2 stage animals.
vivoChip™-2x L2-L3 - This package includes 8 immobilization devices (4 vivoChips) to immobilize late larval 2 to larval 3 stage animals.

 

vivoChip™-2x packs include all tubing and connectors for connecting to the vivoCube™.

If you do not find a suitable device size under our standard product list that fits to your imaging needs, contact support@newormics.com. It is most likely that Newormics is developing a device that will meet your requirement and you could be one of our early adopters.

What features can you image in C. elegans using the vivoChip™-2x platform?

You can image C. elegans immobilized in vivoChip™-2x using optical microscopes with bright-field, differential interference, phase-contrast, wide-field fluorescence, and confocal fluorescence imaging to capture the following features.

1. Developmental phenotypes such as body size and number of eggs.
2. Fluorescent reporters expressed in muscles, neurons, germlines, proteins, and RNA.
3. Subtle phenotypes such as neuron loss, beading axons, and reporter localization.

 

Microscopes and imaging

Does vivoChip™ work on an inverted microscope?

Yes, the vivoChip™ platform can be used on an inverted microscope without any additional component.

Can I use the vivoChip™ platform on an upright microscope?

Yes, you can use the vivoChip™-2x with an upright microscope using the included stage adaptor. This component holds the vivoChip™ and tubing upside down to allow imaging with the objective mounted above. The chip functions as normal in this orientation.

Can I use the vivoChip™ platform on a specialist microscope configuration?

Please contact us with the model and specifications of your microscope. The Newormics technical team will be happy to help you with ensuring compatibility with your platform.

What is the thickness of the glass substrate in the vivoChip™?

The vivoChip™ is bonded to a #1.0 cover glass with 130-170 µm thickness. The length x width of the glass is 75 mm x 25 mm, similar to that of a standard glass slide and can easily fit on a slide holder in any microscope.

 

Purchasing

What is the price of the system?

Contact our sales team at support@newormics.com for a quotation and any available academic discount.

What kind of technical support will be provided to a new customer?

Our valuable customers will have access to the following technical support:

1. The user manual with detailed installation steps, troubleshooting tips, and various protocols to help facilitate imaging using vivoChip™.
2. A one-hour video call to assist you with the platform installation and to familiarize you with the operation protocols. By the end of the one-hour call, our customers are ready to acquire high-resolution images of animals aligned inside the microfluidic chip.
3. Additional video conferencing for consultation on an hourly rate if necessary.

What warranty is included with purchase?

What is covered: Newormics, LLC warrants vivoCube™ for one year from the date of delivery at your facility against defects in materials. If the vivoCube™ is found defective within the warranty period, Newormics will repair or replace the product free of cost. If the vivoChip™-2x are found broken on arrival, Newormics will replace the broken chips. All non-Newormics-branded or third-party products are sold "AS IS" by Newormics, but may be accompanied by their manufacturers' standard warranties.
What is not covered: This warranty does not cover routine maintenance or damage resulting from the failure to operate the products according to the instructions provided by Newormics. This warranty does not cover intentional misuse, customization, or repair by an unauthorized person.
Extended warranty: Customers can buy extended warranty beyond one year with additional fees. Please contact support@newormics.com for more information.

 

Multi-well large-scale vivoChip formats

Do you offer vivoChip™ platforms in larger multiwell formats for high- throughput studies?

Yes, we offer a complete automated imaging platform with large-scale vivoChip™ in the standard 96- well format for high-throughput screens. This system comes with a fully automated image acquisition capabilities for rapidly imaging almost 4,000 animals immobilized in the 96-well format chip (each well can immobilize up to 40 animals in parallel). Find out more about this platform here.

Please contact support@newormics.com for additional information.

 

Other questions

I have an additional question.

Please send an email to support@newormics.com with your question and one of our technical team members will contact you within 24 hours.

 

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