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Miniature System for Manipulating Small Animals in High-Throughput Screening Small Molecules

Whole Animal Feeding Flat (WAFFL): A High-throughput Platform for the Automated Handling of Flies

Drosophila is well-suited organism to be use in high-throughput studies due to their short, defined life cycle and genetic tools. However, current high-throughput fly methodologies are not ideal. They can require a significant amount of fly manipulation, the use of anesthetics, and a large quantity of drug or materials.

Inventors at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health have developed an elegant solution. This 96-well system called the Whole Animal Feeding Flat (WAFFL) enables the housing and feeding of flies while reducing the number of manipulations. The WAFFL system is comprised of four main units: (1) Food Reservoir, (2) Feeder (housing), (3) Receiver and (4) Transfer Adapter and is compatible with standard laboratory equipment. The system has been validated for reliability and reproducibility of study results.

WAFFL Videos

The WAFFL in Action: The WAFFL offers several advantages such as minimal fly handling, less food and drug required per treatment, the ability to test 1-2 flies per well, the ability to provide multiple treatments per unit (e.g. different drugs or different concentrations) and compatibility with standard laboratory equipment and automation robots. This video shows a researcher easily placing flies in the WAFFL, treating flies, making changes between treatments, transferring flies, and harvesting flies after treatment.

3D View of WAFFL Feeder Plate Design: This animation shows a 360 degree view of the Whole Animal Feeding Flat (WAFFL) Feeder Plate, a unit within the WAFFL system. The animation shows details of the Feeder Plate including its bottom openings, inside wells, and outside structure.

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Oliver, Brian


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