Danio rerio (zebrafish) is a common and very useful model organism for research in vertebrate development and gene function. Several devices have been developed to monitor zebrafish behavior (larvae and adult fish) e.g. Daniovision (Noldus) and ZebraBox (Viewpoint). These devices consist of a camera and tracking software for monitoring zebrafish behavior in a static environment. For zebrafish larvae this static environment is either a well in a micro plate in specific well dimensions or a Petri dish in specific dimensions. For adult fishes flow tubes such as a Swim Tunnel (loligo systems) are often used.

Controlled analysis in flow systems

Since no devices are available to monitor 5dpf (5 days post fertilization) zebrafish in a flow environment, a flow tube has been developed at Maastricht University. The goal was to create a flow tube for 5 dpf zebrafish (1,5 to 3 mm in length) for forced exercise (swimming) experiments to accurately assess exercise (in)tolerance. The flow tube should be designed such that the flow conditions inside the tube are very reproducible and independent of the entry velocity distribution. The goal is to simultaneously monitor as much 5dpf zebra fish as possible within the field of view of the existing monitoring system (zebrabox). Multiple flow tubes will be placed in the field of view of the monitoring system. Preferably, each fish is placed in a dedicated flow tube, however to increase throughput, multiple fish can be placed inside a single flow tube.

Are you looking for…

  • Reproducible flow conditions
  • Reliable control system
  • High throughput analysis
  • Multiple exercise modes
  • tailormade for viewpoint zebralab

The Flow Arena is made to fit the Zebralab system of Viewpoint. The Flow Arena comes with software to control the settings. The software interacts with the standard Viewpoint software.

Multiple exercise modes

The flow arena is developed to simulate multiple exercise modes. first of all, the flow arena can simulate flows of different speed. Temperature can be controlled with an accuracy of 0.5°C. The flow arena consists of two baths with which a control group can used to make comparissons. Because of the low volume of the system, rare and expensive compounds can be used.

Zebrafish flow arena benefits

  • Analysis of zebrafish larvae in a controlled flow system
  • Analysis of multiple larvae in a 2 times 8 tube setup, with the possibility of multiple fish per tube
  • Integrated with the Zebralab system of Viewpoint
  • Custom made control software that interacts seamlessly with the Viewpoint software
  • Multiple exercise modes possible: flow of different speed
  • Possibility to work with a control group of fish in two separate baths

Unique research

The unique set of features of the Zebrafish Flow Arena in combination with the Zebralab system of Viewpoint enables innovative research in the field of zebrafish analysis. The platform can be tailored to your specific needs with custom analysis software or hardware specifications. Maastricht Instruments, a spin-off company of Maastricht University, can support you with research-specific developments.

Technical specifications

  • Flow tubes: 2 x 8 parallel
  • Flow range: 0.5 – 5 cm/sec
  • Parallel flow: yes
  • Temperature control accuracy: 0.5 °C
  • Temperature range: > 20 °C
  • Temperature shocks: Yes, slow increase
  • Volume: 2×200 ml water
  • Compatibility: Viewpoint Zebralab system

Customer specific setup of flow system available through Maastricht Instruments.


  • Demonstrator for application development
  • Research prototype for validation studies
  • Technology platform for customer specific / OEM product development
  • Commercialization license for the research market

Developed with:

logo_carim logo-grow-um Maastricht University, School for Cardiovascular Diseases and School Oncology and Developmental Biology, under supervision of Prof. Bert Smeets, PhD, head of the DNA-diagnostics laboratory of the department Clinical Genetics, associate-professor Clinical Genomics, director of the Genome Center and PI of the research institutes CARIM and GROW.

More information:

Freek Boesten

Business Development