Restraining small decapods and amphipods for in vivo laboratory studies

in Crustaceana
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During physiological studies, it is often required to restrain a small animal for an experiment, as it is typically challenging to perform in vivo imaging or measurements on freely moving individuals. In this article we describe two widely applicable approaches for repeated restraint of small (approx. 0.5-4 cm) decapods and amphipods that are established in our laboratory: immobilization using gentle gluing and suction. Application of both these approaches as well as their advantages and disadvantages are discussed in detail.

Restraining small decapods and amphipods for in vivo laboratory studies

in Crustaceana



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    Vertical and horizontal restraint of crustaceans with gluing to a sponge adapter. The glued sponge adapter A-C allows to quickly attach a decapod to a larger piece of sponge A, D or to fix an amphipod to a soft base by pinning of the adapter E. Arrows indicate inflow and outflow of water.

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    Horizontal A-B and vertical C-D restraint of crustaceans with suction. Arrows indicate inflow and outflow of water.

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    Examples of in vivo measurements with the proposed restraint techniques in amphipods Eulimnogammarus verrucosus (Gerstfeldt, 1858). A, Heart rate monitoring under acute temperature increase using restraint with gluing. B, In vivo measurements of haemolymph pH using implanted fluorescent microsensors directly in circulatory system of amphipods immobilized with suction in comparison with pH values obtained for extracted haemolymph using pH-meter. The implanted microsensors are based on the fluorescent molecular probe SNARF-1. Dots represent individual measurements; solid horizontal lines indicate medians.

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