The fruit fly or Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a promising model organism in genetics, developmental and behavioral studies as well as in the fields of neuroscience, pharmacology, and toxicology.

Not only all the developmental stages of Drosophila, including embryonic, larval, and adulthood stages, have been used in experimental in vivo biology, but also the organs, tissues, and cells extracted from this model have found applications in in vitro assays. However, the manual manipulation, cellular investigation and behavioral phenotyping techniques utilized in conventional Drosophila-based in vivo and in vitro assays are mostly time-consuming, labor-intensive, and low in throughput.

Moreover, stimulation of the organism with external biological, chemical, or physical signals requires precision in signal delivery, while quantification of neural and behavioral phenotypes necessitates optical and physical accessibility to Drosophila. Recently, microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip devices have emerged as powerful tools to overcome these challenges.

This review paper demonstrates the role of microfluidic technology in Drosophila studies with a focus on both in vivo and in vitro investigations. The reviewed microfluidic devices are categorized based on their applications to various stages of Drosophila development.

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We have emphasized technologies that were utilized for tissue- and behavior-based investigations. Furthermore, the challenges and future directions in Drosophila-on-a-chip research, and its integration with other advanced technologies, will be discussed.