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CMCC 1830

Zebrafish Group Spawning Chamber

Inventors: Isaac Adatto, Chris Lawrence

Categories: Research Tool

SubCategories: Stem Cell

Keywords: Animal Model (zebra fish)

Invention Description:

Zebrafish have become an established model organism for experimentation and screening in many disciplines, including cell biology, development and organogenesis, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, oncology, toxicology, behavior, and ecology. Their small size, fecund reproduction, rapid external development, and transparency of the embryo (and in certain strains the adult, see CMCC 1584) allow whole organism screening with a vertebrate animal. With the development of liquid handling protocols for automated whole animal transfer, and automated screening for cellular, tissue and whole organism endpoints, zebrafish represent the only truly high throughput, whole animal chemical screening platform. Demand for large scale production of embryos, closely synchronized in their time of fertilization, is poorly met by current technologies. The current standard in the art involves multiple (stressful) transfers of breeding fish, large numbers of breeding tanks occupying a large footprint of expensive facility space, and time-consuming manipulations by technicians. In addition, poor attention to the natural ecology of zebrafish spawning results in inconsistent and suboptimal embryo production. Children's Hospital's Aquatic Resources Program has paid close attention to optimizing zebrafish husbandry (see for instance Sessa, et al. 2008) and has developed extensive know-how in optimization of zebrafish production facilities. One result is an innovative apparatus for mass spawning for zebrafish embryo production. With attention to water depth preferences, male-female interaction before and during spawning, and natural timing, this technology allows highly synchronized mass production of zebrafish embryos. Embryo production in this apparatus greatly exceeds established protocols, but utilizes a smaller lab footprint and minimizes technician manipulation.


Large-scale production of zebrafish embryos for high throughput, whole-animal screening.

Competitive Advantages:

Consistent, high yields of staged embryos, with greatly reduced lab footprint, reduced technician time and reduced stress to the breeding animals. In addition, the spawning chamber is highly flexible and facilitates the use of different strains on a per event basis.

Business Opportunity:

Non-exclusive license to technology and access to know-how.

Key Publications: A New System for the Rapid Collection of Large Numbers of Developmentally Staged Zebrafish Embryos Adatto I, Lawrence C, Thompson M, Zon LI, 2011 A New System for the Rapid Collection of Large Numbers of Developmentally Staged Zebrafish Embryos. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21715. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021715 PMID:21738776

IPStatus: Pat. Pend.

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