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Representative Results






An Integrated Micro-Device System for Coral Growth and Monitoring

Published: July 21st, 2023



1State Key Laboratory of Digital Medical Engineering, School of Biological Science & Medical Engineering, Southeast University, 2Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Marine Biology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

This protocol describes the development of a modular controllable micro-device system that can be applied for the long-term culturing and monitoring of sea corals.

Corals are fundamental organisms in marine and coastal ecosystems. With the advancement of coral protection research in recent years, precise control of the coral culture environment is highly in demand for coral conservation and study. Here, we developed a semi-closed coral culture micro-device system as a multi-functional platform, which can provide accurate and programmable temperature control, a sterile initial environment, long-term stable water quality, an adjustable dissolved oxygen concentration, and a customized light spectrum for corals. Owing to the modular design, the coral culture system can be upgraded or modified by installing desirable new modules or removing existing ones. Currently, under appropriate conditions and with proper system maintenance, the sample corals can survive for at least 30 days in a healthy state. Furthermore, due to the controllable and sterile initial environment, this coral culture system can support research into the symbiotic relationship between corals and associated microorganisms. Therefore, this micro-device system can be applied to monitor and investigate sea corals in a relatively quantitative manner.

The deterioration of coral reef ecosystems has been occurring worldwide over the past 70 years. Considering all the major coral areas across Central America1, Southeast Asia2,3,4,5,6, Australia7,8, and East Africa9, the global coverage of coral reefs has halved since the 1950s10. This mass loss of coral reefs has resulted in ecological and economic problems....

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The corals used for the present study were Seriatopora caliendrum, which are cultured in our lab. All the corals were kindly provided by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

1. Inspection and startup

NOTE: Each module must be tested for tightness and function individually before assembling the system. Deionized water should be used to test the module's tightness. Commercial details of all.......

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Temperature control accuracy
The system temperature is normally set to 23-28 °C depending on the coral species. However, as one of the most important factors, temperature fluctuation can strongly affect coral survival. Hence, temperature control accuracy is a decisive factor for the coral culture system. A temperature sensor and an independent data collector with a temperature range from 9 °C to 32 °C can be used to test the temperature control accuracy in the coral culture module. W.......

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This coral culture system is designed to simulate and provide a relatively natural or customized microenvironment for corals to be transplanted into and survive. Meanwhile, as a self-developed equipment, this system needs to be reliable, user-friendly, and safe. For example, in terms of temperature control, the seawater temperature should be controlled appropriately based on the daily environmental circumstances. The system was tested by culturing the coral for 1 month, confirming the system's reliability.

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This study was supported by the State Key Development Programs for Basic Research of China (2021YFC3100502).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
12V DC power supply Delixi Electric Co., Ltd. CDKU-S150W 12V12.5A
3% hydrogen peroxide solution Shandong ANNJET High tech Disinfection Technology Co., Ltd NULL NULL
75% ethanol solution Shandong ANNJET High tech Disinfection Technology Co., Ltd NULL NULL
Air pump Chongyoujia Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. NHY-001 NULL
Air sterilizing filter Beijing Capsid Filter Equipment Co., Ltd S593CSFTR-0.2H83SH83SN8-A NULL
Camera SONY Α7r4-ILCE-76M4A NULL
Coral nutrition solution Red Sea Aquatics Co., Ltd. 22101 Coral nutrition
Coral pro salt (sea salt) Red Sea Aquatics Co., Ltd. R11231 NULL
Cycle timer Leqing Shangjin Instrument Equipment Co., Ltd. CN102A 220V version
Double closed quick connector JOSOT Co., Ltd NL4-2103T NULL
Flow-through UV lamp Zhongshan Xinsheng Electronic technology Co., Ltd. 211 NULL
Four-channel transformer Dongguan Shanggushidai Electronic Technology Co., Ltd LM2596 NULL
Macro lens SONY FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS NULL
Microbiome source solution Guangzhou BIOZYM Microbial Technology Co., Ltd. 303 NULL
Mini-photo studio Shaoxing Shangyu Photography Equipment Factory CM-45 NULL
PID temperature controller Guangdong Dongqi  Electric Co., Ltd. TE9-SC18W SSR version
Pump (for water) Zhongxiang Pump Co., Ltd. ZX43D Seaswater version
Pure water machine Kemflo (Nanjing) environmental technology Co, ltd kemflo A600 NULL
Solid-state relay Delixi Electric Co., Ltd. DD25A NULL
Surface active agents Guangzhou Liby Group Co., Ltd. Libai detergent NULL
Three-channel timer Leqing Changhong Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. CHE325-3 220V version
Water sterilizing filter Beijing Capsid Filter Equipment Co., Ltd S593CSFTR-0.2H83SH83SN8-L NULL

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