Whole Animal Feeding Flat (WAFFL): A High-throughput Platform for the Automated Handling of Flies

Drosophila is well-suited organism to be use in high-throughput studies due to their short, defined life cycle and genetic tools. However, current high-throughput fly methodologies are not ideal. They can require a significant amount of fly manipulation, the use of anesthetics, and a large quantity of drug or materials.

Inventors at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health have developed an elegant solution. This 96-well system called the Whole Animal Feeding Flat (WAFFL) enables the housing and feeding of flies while reducing the number of manipulations. The WAFFL system is comprised of four main units: (1) Food Reservoir, (2) Feeder (housing), (3) Receiver and (4) Transfer Adapter and is compatible with standard laboratory equipment. The system has been validated for reliability and reproducibility of study results.

Related Videos:

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • In vivo high-throughput screening
  • Automated drug research in small model organisms
  • Minimal fly handling facilitates multiple treatments
  • Less food required (and therefore, less drug!)
  • Allows for testing a single fly per well (96 options in one plate)
  • Compatible with standard (96 well) equipment and automation robots

Development Stage:
  • Early stage
  • Prototype


Maria De Los Angeles Jaime (NIDDK)  ➽ more inventions...

Brian Oliver (NIDDK)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: - issued -
PCT Application No. PCT/US2015/060575 filed on 2015-11-13
US Application No. 15/526,672 filed on 2017-05-12
Various international applications pending

Licensing Contact:
Carolyn Buller,
Email: carolyn.buller@nih.gov
Phone: 301-443-5605

OTT Reference No: E-034-2015-0
Updated: Nov 7, 2017