Impedance measures and a mounting technique for drosophila: Larval movements, heart rate, imaging, and electrophysiology

Noah de Castro, Robin Lewis Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Monitoring movements of larval Drosophila with electrical detection allows one to record the behaviors without the use of lights and cameras. This is a suitable technique when studying the use of light-sensitive proteins in optogenetic studies. Electrical measures are feasible to use in determining when a larva starts to move or continues to move after a light induced activation of channelrhodopsin. We have developed a technique using an electrical measure of the media as an index of larval movement. As a proof of concept, recordings with an infrared camera of the larval movement were simultaneous made with electrical measures. The two techniques parallel each other in their ability to index larval movements. Bright light-emitting diode (LED) lights used in optogenetic experiments tend to saturate the detectors of the camera unless filters are used and different filters maybe necessary depending on the LED spectrum and sensitivity of the camera. Impedance measures are independent of the type of LED or brightness. We also assessed the use of a non-solvent based glue (3M Vetbond) to hold larvae in place while measuring synaptic function of neuromuscular junctions, cardiac function and influence of modulators, or activation of light-sensitive channels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalMethods and Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Drosophila
  • Gluing
  • Heartrate
  • Impedance
  • Locomotion
  • Optogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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