Development of Non-Invasive Imaging of Entire Heart Chamber in Drosophila and Application in the Study on Genes-Caused Heart Diseases

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Drosophila melanogaster is an invertebrate genetic model for studies of human genetically caused diseases and developmental biology. The most important advantage of using Drosophila as the experimental model is the ability to carry out large-scale genetic screens for the identification of a comprehensive set of mutations, which might be related to human diseases. Additionally, Drosophila can be easily cultured at room temperature and bred in large numbers for statistical analyses. Generally, the lifecycle of Drosophila melanogaster is only about two weeks, which accelerates experiments that involve mutagenization. The heart chamber of Drosophila consists of five portions, including conical chamber (CC) and four ostia portions. However, the curvature of the heart chamber, the high heart rate, and the limited diameter of heart tubes make simultaneously imaging the CC and the four ostia portions difficult. Currently, to understand the beating behavior of the entire heart chamber of Drosophila, a microsurgery has to be performed to remove the shell. Subsequently, the heart chamber will be fixed under microscopy to record the beating behavior. However, this approach may affect the beating behavior, resulting in errors in experimental results. Moreover, it is difficult to repeat the experiments to obtain a statistical result due to the complicated process. (1) In the first year of this proposal, we will develop a high-speed, high-resolution dual-beam optical coherence tomography, which enables to acquire 2D OCT images of heart chamber as a function of time. The image acquisition rate can achieve 560 frames/s and each frame consists of 1000*1024 voxels. In the first year, we will develop a high-speed and high-resolution swept source, miniaturize the dual-beam scanning platform, and measure the cardiac electro signals of Drosophila. (2) In the second year, the developed system will be implemented for the studies on the genes-caused heart diseases and heart aging. Furthermore, to obtain the scanning results in real-time, data and image processes will be performed based on field programmable gate array (FPGA). Finally, a software algorithm will be developed for the evaluation of heart chamber dimension. In the future, this system can be used for the studies of genetically caused diseases and drug testing using Drosophila as an experimental model.

Project IDs

Project ID:PB10301-0500
External Project ID:NSC102-2221-E182-061-MY2
Effective start/end date01/08/1431/07/15


  • optical coherence tomography
  • Drosophila
  • swept source
  • gene
  • heartbeat


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