Characterizing the Effect of Static Magnetic Fields on C. elegans Using Microfluidics


In nature, several organisms possess a magnetic compass to navigate or migrate them to desired locations. It is thought that these organisms may use biogenic magnetic matter or light-sensitive photoreceptors to sense and orient themselves in magnetic fields. To unravel the underlying principles of magnetosensitivity and magnetoreception, previous experiments have been conducted on bacteria, vertebrates, crustaceans, and insects. In this study, the model organism, C. elegans, is used to test their response and sensitivity to static magnetic fields in the range of 5 milli Tesla to 120 milli Tesla. Single wild-type C. elegans are put in microfluidic channels and exposed to permanent magnets for five cycles of thirty-second time intervals. The worm movement is recorded and analyzed with custom software to calculate the average velocity and the percentage of turning and curling. Contrary to some published studies, our results did not show a significant difference compared to control experiments. This suggests that C. elegans may not sense static magnetic fields in the range of field strengths that we tested.

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Njus, Z. , Feldmann, D. , Brien, R. , Kong, T. , Kalwa, U. and Pandey, S. (2015) Characterizing the Effect of Static Magnetic Fields on C. elegans Using Microfluidics. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 6, 583-591. doi: 10.4236/abb.2015.69061.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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