Microfluidics for High-Throughput Quantitative Studies of Early Development.
Developmental biology has traditionally relied on qualitative analyses; recently, however, as in other fields of biology, researchers have become increasingly interested in acquiring quantitative knowledge about embryogenesis. Advances in fluorescence microscopy are enabling high-content imaging in live specimens. At the same time, microfluidics and automation technologies are increasing experimental throughput for studies of multicellular models of development. Furthermore, computer vision methods for processing and analyzing bioimage data are now leading the way toward quantitative biology. Here, we review advances in the areas of fluorescence microscopy, microfluidics, and data analysis that are instrumental to performing high-content, high-throughput studies in biology and specifically in development. We discuss a case study of how these techniques have allowed quantitative analysis and modeling of pattern formation in the Drosophila embryo.