A coral-on-a-chip microfluidic platform enabling live-imaging microscopy of reef-building corals
Shapiro, Orr H.
Gavish, Assaf R.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Coral reefs, and the unique ecosystems they support, are facing severe threats by human activities and climate change. Our understanding of these threats is hampered by the lack of robust approaches for studying the micro-scale interactions between corals and their environment. Here we present an experimental platform, coral-on-a-chip, combining micropropagation and microfluidics to allow direct microscopic study of live coral polyps. The small and transparent coral micropropagates are ideally suited for live-imaging microscopy, while the microfluidic platform facilitates long-term visualization under controlled environmental conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by imaging coral micropropagates at previously unattainable spatio-temporal resolutions, providing new insights into several micro-scale processes including coral calcification, coral–pathogen interaction and the loss of algal symbionts (coral bleaching). Coral-on-a-chip thus provides a powerful method for studying coral physiology in vivo at the micro-scale, opening new vistas in coral biology. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Organisational unit09467 - Stocker, Roman / Stocker, Roman
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