Research Involving Animals – Division of Biomedical Services

2024 news

Please see below for articles published in 2024.

A novel portable flip-phone based visual behaviour assay for zebrafish

Vanessa Rodwell, Annabel Birchall, Ha-Jun Yoon, Helen J. Kuht, William H. J. Norton and Mervyn G. Thomas

The optokinetic reflex (OKR) serves as a vital index for visual system development in early life, commonly observed within the first six months post-birth in humans. Zebrafish larvae offer a robust and convenient model for OKR studies due to their rapid development and manageable size. Existing OKR assays often involve cumbersome setups and offer limited portability. In this study, we present an innovative OKR assay that leverages the flexible screen of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip to optimize setup and portability. We conducted paired slow-phase velocity measurements in 5-day post-fertilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae (n = 15), using both the novel flip-phone-based assay and a traditional liquid–crystal display (LCD) arena. Utilizing Bland–Altman plots, we assessed the agreement between the two methods. Both assays were efficacious in eliciting OKR, with eye movement analysis indicating high tracking precision in the flip-phone-based assay. No statistically significant difference was observed in slow-phase velocities between the two assays (p = 0.40). Our findings underscore the feasibility and non-inferiority of the flip-phone-based approach, offering streamlined assembly, enhanced portability, and the potential for cost-effective alternatives. This study contributes to the evolution of OKR assay methodologies, aligning them with emerging research paradigms.

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