The assay to understand longevity regulation, explore the effects of test compounds on aging, and screen for anti-aging candidates.

Method description

A synchronized population of C. elegans is injected into the microfluidic platform at the last larval stage prior to sexual maturity (L4). Worms are confined within dedicated microfluidic chambers and are continuously fed with an E. coli solution.

Worms are continuously exposed to the test compounds right after the injection (L4 stage) until the end of the experiment, which is determined by the death of the last worm in the control group. The test compounds are mixed with the E. coli solution. Freeze-dried OP50 E. coli are used as a food source, preventing the metabolization of the tested molecules by the bacteria.

The images of each microfluidic chamber are recorded every hour. Starting from 120 hours post-worm injection, short video sequences are recorded every six hours for each microfluidic chamber. The processing of the acquired images and videos provides information on worms’ health and life spans.

Aging timeline


  • Survival

Movement analysis for a wild-type worm after 2 days (left) and 10 days (right) of adulthood, revealing motility loss due to aging, as produced by the SydLab motility analysis software.

Survival rate

Temporal evolution of the percentage of living worms over 25 days experiments for wild-type N2 C. elegans treated with an anti-aging drug (drug A) vs untreated worms (vehicle). The drug treatment significantly prolongs C. elegans lifespan (+20% mean lifespan with respect to the control group).

Dietary restriction

Percentage of living worms at day 18 of adulthood for wild-type N2 C. elegans subjected to different dietary restriction regimes (i.e. worm populations fed through culture media with different E. coli bacteria concentrations). Survival is increased as food intake is reduced from the maximum food intake until a nutrient regime that optimizes longevity is reached. Further restrictions result in reduced lifespan due to starvation.

Assay combinations

The aging assay can be offered on its own or in combination with the following assays upon request.


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