Building a Machine Learning-Driven High-Content Screening Platform for Fish Behavioral Studies: Investigation of the Influence of Millimeter-Wave Radiation and Chemical Library on the Light-Induced Locomotion of Zebrafish Larvae

Project: Research

View graph of relations


Zebrafish is one of the most important model organisms in biology. Zebrafish behavioral studies, such as the profiling of the Light-Induced Locomotor Response (LLR), have been applied in drug discovery and neurological analyses. Multiple zebrafish larvae can be tracked concurrently. The short experiment cycle is suitable to large-scale study. The lack of mathematical models describing LLR, however, limits interpretation of the screening results. Variance in visual-motor system development can be high, whereas traditional measures to identify behavioral difference may be insufficient to experiments with diverse factors. Therefore, we propose the development of computational methods to investigate zebrafish LLR, which will be useful to the study of environmental factors, such as millimeter wave (mmWave), and drug screening applications.The human body exposes to electromagnetic field (EMF) of different frequency ranges in daily life. With the increasing prolonged use of mobile devices, the safety of related EMF on the nervous system is a public concern. The World Health Organization has recommended large-scale long-term study on mobile phone users. The majority of existing studies are unable to establish a link between EMF in wireless communications and health issues. Few studies showed that thermal effects of mmWave exposure affected the neuron excitability and the metabolism of a neurotransmitter. Despite decades of research, mmWave effects remain controversial due to technical challenges such as the limited sample size in experiments that involve animal models. In this project, we will expand the high-throughput platform to investigate mmWave influence on the neural system of zebrafish larvae using significantly reduced experimental preparation and analysis time.We will develop a transverse electromagnetic cell for generating a millimeter band electric field with plane waves that reach the zebrafish larvae in shallow water tank at controlled power, and LLR of zebrafish exposed to mmWave can be tracked. By using machine learning techniques, we will investigate if there will be change(s) in LLR induced within power level of mmWave in the current communications standards. If LLRs of the controls and mmWave exposed zebrafish larvae are indistinguishable, mmWave radiation level tested has no observable effect to the zebrafish visual-motor system. Separately, the LLR of zebrafish mutants lacking various genes for cognitive behaviors, with or without the treatment of a chemical library including neuronal signaling molecules, will be tracked. This will help elucidate the possible biological basis of mmWave interaction if there is an observable change in LLR similar to known genetic mutations and/or drug treatment.


Project number9042833
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/20 → …