DanioVision Observation Chamber
DanioVision is a complete system, designed for the high-throughput testing of zebrafish larvae in multi-well plates. It includes the Observation Chamber and renowned EthoVision XT video tracking software.
Perfect for well-plate testing
The sturdy design of the Observation Chamber creates the perfect environment for your experiment. It provides room for standard ANSI and SBS compliant multi-well plates, whether you’re using 6, 12, 24, 48, or 96 well plates. You can also use petri dishes and other small containers.
Controlled environment for high-throughput testing
The Observation Chamber shuts out external light, and the anti-vibration feet absorb shocks to keep the internal environment stable. The backlit plate holder provides even lighting across the well plate and ensures that your plate or other container is placed in the exact same position every time. While this seems evident, many other systems do not offer this functionality, causing you to have to recalibrate your video image for every trial.
No image distortion
DanioVision is a video tracking based system, meaning that it needs a camera. The inherent challenge of using a camera in a near distance of a well plate is angular image distortion at the edges of the plate. We did not want to use mirrors to fix this problem, as they are fragile and prone to moving around or deforming. Our Observation Chamber has a Fresnell lens, allowing for a sturdy and robust system with a perfectly straight view into each well.
Testing in infrared lighting
Lighting in zebrafish larvae studies is an underestimated part of many set-ups. Basically, you need two types of light for most studies: one for tracking, and one as a stimulus.
For tracking, it is common to use infrared (IR) light. In combination with an IR-sensitive camera, this allows you to track in the dark. However, some IR wavelengths are visible to the zebrafish eye, so choosing the correct wavelength is important (see Hartmann et al., 2018). DanioVision’s plate holder is backlit with an IR light that is not visible for zebrafish, so it will not disturb the activity of the larvae or create bias in your data.
Mimic day/night rhythm
The DanioVision Observation Chamber also includes a white light. You can turn on the light suddenly to induce a startle reflex, or you can adjust the white light gradually to mimic a day/night cycle.
The white light in the Observation Chamber is programmed and controlled with EthoVision XT: you use the software to set when you want the light turned on and off. The white light intensity is adjustable from complete darkness to up to 10,000 lux.
Preventing contrast differences and shadowing
While (IR) lighting is a necessary part of the study, it does comes with certain challenges. For example, it is very important that there is even lighting across the entire well plate. Some competing systems show large variations in light intensities between inner and outer wells in the well plate. This causes an overestimation of movement in outer wells, and/or an underestimation of movement in the inner wells, because of contrast differences or because some fish are not detected properly.
The DanioVision system was specifically designed to prevent this. The well plate is evenly lit so that every well has the same lighting conditions. Also, while other systems measure the activity in the well (movement of the larva, but also the movement of its shadow, for example), EthoVision XT detects and tracks the zebrafish larvae only, and nothing else that might occur in the wells.
Video tracking of your zebrafish relies on the IR backlight and digital IR-sensitive camera of the Observation Chamber. This setup provides you with optimal video data, regardless of white light conditions.
Zebrafish are known for their quick movements, which makes it challenging to track them. The camera used in the Observation Chamber has the perfect resolution, frame rate, and shutter speed to track zebrafish larvae. This allows EthoVision XT to actually track the zebrafish, and not a blurry streak. You can assess all movement accurately and in great detail.
With all the equipment in place to get excellent video material, we added EthoVision XT ‘s superior video tracking qualities to the mix. Several add-ons are available for temperature control, optogenetic stimulation, and stimuli such as tapping.