Multiscale, multi-perspective imaging assisted robotic microinjection of 3D biological structures

Amey S Joshi, Andrew D Alegria, Ben Auch, Kanav Khosla, Jorge Blanco Mendana, Kunpeng Liu, John Bischof, Daryl M. Gohl, Suhasa B. Kodandaramaiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Microinjection is a widely used technique employed by biologists with applications in transgenesis, cryopreservation, mutagenesis, labeling/dye injection and in-vitro fertilization. However, microinjection is an extremely laborious manual procedure, which makes it a critical bottleneck in the field and thus ripe for automation. Here, we present a computer-guided robot that automates the targeted microinjection of Drosophila melanogaster and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos, two important model organisms in biological research. The robot uses a series of cameras to image an agar plate containing embryos at multiple magnifications and perspectives. This imaging is combined with machine learning and computer vision algorithms to pinpoint a location on the embryo for targeted microinjection with microscale precision. We demonstrate the utility of this microinjection robot to successfully microinject Drosophila melanogaster and zebrafish embryos. Results obtained indicate that the robotic microinjection approach can significantly increase the throughput of microinjection as compared to manual microinjection while maintaining survival rates comparable to human operators. In the future, this robotic platform can be used to perform high throughput microinjection experiments and can be extended to automatically microinject a host of organisms such as roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans), mosquito (Culicidae) embryos, sea urchins (Echinoidea) and frog (Xenopus) oocytes.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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