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Characterization of zebrafish larvae suction feeding flow using μPIV and optical coherence tomography

Abstract

The hydrodynamics of suction feeding is critical for the survival of fish larvae; failure to capture food during the onset of autonomous feeding can rapidly lead to starvation and mortality. Fluid mechanics experiments that investigate the suction feeding of suspended particles are limited to adult fishes, which operate at large Reynolds numbers. This manuscript presents the first literature results in which the external velocity fields generated during suction feeding of early zebrafish larvae (2500–20,000 μm total length) are reported using time-resolved microscopic particle image velocimetry. For the larval stages studied, the maximum peak suction velocity of the inflow bolus is measured at a finite distance from the mouth tip and ranges from 1 to 8 mm/s. The average pressure gradient and the velocity profile proximal to the buccal (mouth) cavity are calculated, and two distinct trends are identified. External recirculation regions and reverse flow feeding cycles are also observed and quantified. One of the unresolved questions in fish suction feeding is the shape and dynamics of the buccal cavity during suction feeding; optical coherence tomography imaging is found to be useful for reconstructing the mouth kinematics. The projected area of the mouth cavity during the feeding cycle varies up to 160 and 22 % for the transverse and mid-sagittal planes, respectively. These findings can inspire novel hydrodynamically efficient biomedical and microfluidic devices.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge Prof. Beth Roman from the University of Pittsburgh for guiding our in-house zebrafish larvae culture and their handling protocols. K.P. was supported by NSF CAREER Award 0954465. R.H. was supported by Israel Science Foundation Grants 158/11 and 695/15.

Author information

Correspondence to Kerem Pekkan.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Suction Raw Data. Raw data of two suction cycles are presented. Data are obtained from stereomicroscope and high-speed CMOS camera (MP4 9980 kb)

OCT Mid-Sagittal Plane. Raw OCT data of buccal cavity along the mid-sagittal plane are presented. The red circle marks the place of short active mouth cavity (MP4 8129 kb)

Movie 1

Suction Raw Data. Raw data of two suction cycles are presented. Data are obtained from stereomicroscope and high-speed CMOS camera (MP4 9980 kb)

Movie 2

OCT Transverse Plane. Raw OCT data of buccal cavity along the transverse plane are presented (MP4 739 kb)

Movie 3

OCT Mid-Sagittal Plane. Raw OCT data of buccal cavity along the mid-sagittal plane are presented. The red circle marks the place of short active mouth cavity (MP4 8129 kb)

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Pekkan, K., Chang, B., Uslu, F. et al. Characterization of zebrafish larvae suction feeding flow using μPIV and optical coherence tomography. Exp Fluids 57, 112 (2016) doi:10.1007/s00348-016-2197-6

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Keywords

  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Larval Fish
  • Buccal Cavity
  • Zebrafish Larva