Wang, W., Liu, X., Gelinas, D., Ciruna, B., and Sun, Y. (2007) A fully automated robotic system for microinjection of zebrafish embryos. PLoS One. 2(9):e862.
As an important embodiment of biomanipulation, injection of foreign materials (e.g., DNA, RNAi, sperm, protein, and drug compounds) into individual cells has significant implications in genetics, transgenics, assisted reproduction, and drug discovery. This paper presents a microrobotic system for fully automated zebrafish embryo injection, which overcomes the problems inherent in manual operation, such as human fatigue and large variations in success rates due to poor reproducibility. Based on computer vision and motion control, the microrobotic system performs injection at a speed of 15 zebrafish embryos (chorion unremoved) per minute, with a survival rate of 98% (n = 350 embryos), a success rate of 99% (n = 350 embryos), and a phenotypic rate of 98.5% (n = 210 embryos). The sample immobilization technique and microrobotic control method are applicable to other biological injection applications such as the injection of mouse oocytes/embryos and Drosophila embryos to enable high-throughput biological and pharmaceutical research.