Acoustofluidic rotational tweezing enables high-speed contactless morphological phenotyping of zebrafish larvae

Chuyi Chen, Yuyang Gu, Julien Philippe, Peiran Zhang, Hunter Bachman, Jinxin Zhang, John Mai, Joseph Rufo, John F. Rawls, Erica E. Davis, Elias Nicholas Katsanis, Tony Jun Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Modern biomedical research and preclinical pharmaceutical development rely heavily on the phenotyping of small vertebrate models for various diseases prior to human testing. In this article, we demonstrate an acoustofluidic rotational tweezing platform that enables contactless, high-speed, 3D multispectral imaging and digital reconstruction of zebrafish larvae for quantitative phenotypic analysis. The acoustic-induced polarized vortex streaming achieves contactless and rapid (~1 s/rotation) rotation of zebrafish larvae. This enables multispectral imaging of the zebrafish body and internal organs from different viewing perspectives. Moreover, we develop a 3D reconstruction pipeline that yields accurate 3D models based on the multi-view images for quantitative evaluation of basic morphological characteristics and advanced combinations of metrics. With its contactless nature and advantages in speed and automation, our acoustofluidic rotational tweezing system has the potential to be a valuable asset in numerous fields, especially for developmental biology, small molecule screening in biochemistry, and pre-clinical drug development in pharmacology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1118
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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