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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Development of a Spectrophotometric Assay to Measure GI Motility in the Zebrafish

Efficient function of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract requires mixing and propulsion of GI contents in an ordered manner, providing nutrient absorption and waste elimination. Contraction of GI smooth muscle is rhythmic and highly coordinated, such that waves of contraction move in an oral-to-anal direction, propelling gastrointestinal contents. Poorly regulated contraction of smooth muscle underlies motility disorders. The aim of this work is to develop functional assays to quantify GI function in zebrafish larvae, beginning at 7 days post-fertilization. A high-throughput method is desirable for the ability to screen substances with prokinetic or dyskinetic effects on motility patterns. Although contraction frequency may be directly observed and recorded, an assay quantifying gastrointestinal function is necessary. The development of a spectrophotometric assay, monitoring the concentrations of FITC-labeled microspheres fed to zebrafish, may provide a high-throughput method for screening.

Presenter: Tiffany Telarico (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 9 am (Session I)