A complete system for imaging, tracking, and analyzing C. elegans
MBF Bioscience > WormLab®

Product Overview

WormLab is a complete hardware/software solution for imaging and quantitative analysis of C. elegans behavior. We have collaborated with world leading C. elegans researchers to develop an easy-to-use worm tracking system with powerful analysis tools.


The patented WormLab tracking technology employs a groundbreaking algorithm designed to fully automatically characterize a broad spectrum of behaviors of C.elegans. Crawling worms, swimming/thrashing worms, whole plate and long-term tracking – WormLab supports all your assays. With WormLab you can focus on your research, rather than your research tools.

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Key Benefits

The Ultimate Worm Tracking & Analysis Solution

WormLab performs fully automated quantification of the behavior of C. elegans and other nematodes. Using the WormLab patented worm-tracking technology, you have access to dozens of detailed metrics, including speed, direction, and distance travelled. Fully characterize dynamic changes in posture, amplitude of sinusoidal movement and accurately quantify complex movements such as omega bends, coiling, self-overlap, swimming, and thrashing. Easily and efficiently investigate subtle effects on social interactions such as aggregation, social foraging and mating.

Worm Tracking Made Easy

The WormLab Imaging System is turn-key hardware and software for imaging and analyzing the behavior of C. elegans—just add worms. We have worked closely with C. elegans researchers to develop a worm tracking system that requires no programming or imaging expertise, so you can spend less time setting up and maintaining your system and more time on your research.

The optimized WormLab video acquisition system fully automates optogenetic and mechanosensation assays so that you can easily correlate behavior with programmable stimuli. This also frees up lab resources considerably while improving the efficiency and reproducibility of worm-behavior assays. Easy image acquisition and analysis using the intuitive WormLab software interface enables you to start working immediately.

WormLab has been developed with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

System Requirements for Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS

Windows 10 64-bit is required. The recommended configuration includes at least 16GB RAM, an Intel Core (i5,i7,i9) or Xeon processor, adequate hard disk space for video files (at least 500GB recommended) and an internet connection for activation.

MacOS 10.9 or later is required. The recommended configuration includes at least 16GB RAM, an Intel Core (i5,i7,i9), Intel Xeon or Apple M1 processor, adequate hard disk space for video files (at least 500GB recommended) and an internet connection for activation.

Case Study: Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich 
Researchers Study Blast Effects on C. elegans 
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Case Study: Columbia University 
Researchers Identified Mutations in a TRP Ion Channel Cause Dopaminergic Cell Loss in C. elegans 
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Case Study: East Carolina University 
Scientists Reveal that Nicotine Addiction is Heritable in C. elegans 
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Case Study: Université de Montréal 
Researchers are characterizing a novel target to combat obesity 
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Salzberg, Y., Pechuk, V., Gat, A., Setty, H., Sela, S., & Oren-Suissa, M. (2020). Synaptic Protein Degradation Controls Sexually Dimorphic Circuits through Regulation of DCC/UNC-40. Current Biology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.002. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982220311568

Shen, P., Hsieh, T.-H., Yue, Y., Sun, Q., Clark, J. M., & Park, Y. (2017). Deltamethrin increases the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 101, 149-156. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.01.015. //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691517300236

Shen, P., Kershaw, J. C., Yue, Y., Wang, O., Kim, K.-H., McClements, D. J., & Park, Y. (2018). Effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on fat accumulation, activity, and proteomics analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Food Chemistry, 249, 193-201. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.01.017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814618300177

Shen, P., Yue, Y., Kim, K.-H., & Park, Y. (2017). Piceatannol Reduces Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Medicinal Food. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.0179. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.0179

Shen, P., Yue, Y., Sun, Q., Kasireddy, N., Kim, K.-H., & Park, Y. (2017). Piceatannol extends the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via DAF-16. BioFactors, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1002/biof.1346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biof.1346

Shepherd, E., Greiner, S. P., & Bowdridge, S. (2020). Characterization of ovine monocyte activity when cultured with Haemonchus contortus larvae in vitro. Parasite Immunology, n/a(n/a), e12773. doi: 10.1111/pim.12773. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pim.12773

Shuai, X., Bailey-Brock, J. H., & Lin, D. T. (2014). Spatio-temporal changes in trophic categories of infaunal polychaetes near the four wastewater ocean outfalls on Oahu, Hawaii. Water Research, (0). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2014.03.058. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043135414002541

Sun, Q., Yue, Y., Shen, P., Yang, J. J., & Park, Y. (2016). Cranberry Product Decreases Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Medicinal Food. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2015.0133

Sutphin, G. L., Backer, G., Sheehan, S., Bean, S., Corban, C., Liu, T., . . . Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium Gene Expression Working, G. (2017). Caenorhabditis elegans orthologs of human genes differentially expressed with age are enriched for determinants of longevity. Aging Cell, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/acel.12595. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12595

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Download WormLab product sheet here.

WormLab® 2022 Release Notes
Released January 2022

New features and enhancements


Video Recording

  • New, more efficient video encoder improves encoding speed and decreases file size
  • Increased available buffer to support fast frame rate recording using high-resolution cameras
  • Added support for latest Basler cameras. Pylon version 6.2.0 or later is required



  • Added support for macOS Big Sur
  • Added option to specify a fixed com port for systems where auto scanning ports may fail
  • Measuring tool for scaling may be drawn at any angle


View Full Version History Here.

Who Is Using WormLab?

WormLab is used across the globe by the most prestigious laboratories. 

Cited in Peer Reviewed Scientific Publications

WormLab’s utility is underscored by the number of references it receives in the worlds most important scientific publications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I run WormLab on multiple computers in my laboratory?

The standard WormLab software license is tied to one specific computer, however, we do offer a floating license option, providing additional flexibility. A single floating license enables you to access your software license at any computer, but only one computer at a time.  

Can I use my own videos acquired using our laboratory imaging system?

Yes! You can purchase a Wormlab software license separately from the complete WormLab Imaging System; it is a cost-effective way to quantify worm behavior from videos acquired using your own camera system. An important consideration for obtaining optimal results with WormLab software is the quality of the video to be analyzed. A solid, high contrast image of the worm on an evenly illuminated background (as achieved with the WormLab Imaging System) is ideal.

Is the WormLab Imaging System upgradeable?

The Wormlab Imaging System is modular by design and can be field upgraded to include stimulus delivery options such as high power LEDs for optogenetic assays or a tapper for mechanosensation assays. General purpose input/output ports are also available for custom applications.

What is so special about the WormLab Imaging System compared to lab-based systems?

The WormLab Imaging System is designed to produce optimal videos for worm tracking. It features a stable, flat field illumination system and state-of-the-art, high resolution video camera enabling high contrast visualization of the transparent worms.  Its enclosure blocks out ambient light that could influence worm behavior, creating an ideal platform for performing reproducible experiments.  Fully automate optogenetic and mechanosensation assays eliminates observer bias and improving efficiency.

Can WormLab track other types of nematodes?

WormLab was originally designed for tracking C. elegans, however, researchers have used the software for behavioral analysis of other nematodes (such as parasitic worms). In fact, WormLab has also been used to track Drosophila larvae. Contact us to arrange a demonstration using your videos.

Is there a limit to the number of worms I can track simultaneously?

Technically, there is no inherent software limit to the number of tracked worms, however, from a practical perspective we suggest tracking fewer than 30 worms in an area sufficiently large to mitigate worm clustering. The WormLab Imaging System supports video acquisition from plates up to 50mm in diameter.

What types of video file formats are supported and are there any suggested acquisition parameters for optimal tracking?

WormLab supports many video files (eg. .avi, .mov, .mpg, .mp4, .wmv) and includes support for hundreds of different video codecs.  We typically suggest using an acquisition rate of 5-10 fps for crawling worm assays and 14-30fps for swimming assays to ensure sufficient temporal resolution for accurate tracking.   Higher resolution videos (e.g. 10um or less per pixel scaling) are recommended for more accurate tracking through complex movements such as omega bends, entanglements, self-overlap or coiling  

Are software updates readily available for WormLab?

Yes - we offer a Software Upgrade and Support Subscription (SUSS) enabling customers to download the latest version of WormLab and full remote access to our technical support team of experts.  Our WormLab development roadmap is very customer feedback driven – as you provide feedback and we make enhancements to WormLab, you can then download those latest releases.  This collaborative relationship with WormLab users is an integral part of our continuous improvement process and improves the WormLab community experience.


Robust Professional Support

Our service sets us apart, with a team that includes Ph.D. neuroscientists, experts in microscopy, stereology, neuron reconstruction, and image processing.  We’ve also developed a host of additional support services, including:

  • Forums
    We have over 25 active forums where open discussions take place.
    >> Learn More
  • On-Site/Training
    We’ve conducted over 750 remote software installations.
    >> Learn More
  • Webinars
    We’ve created over 55 webinars that demonstrate our products & their uses.
    >> Learn More

Request a Free Trial

We offer both a free demonstration and a free trial copy of WormLab. During your personal session, you’ll also have the opportunity to talk to us about your hardware, software and experimental design questions with our team of Ph.D. neuroscientists and experts in microscopy, worm tracking and image processing.

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Recorded Webinars and Videos

WormLab: Display Features

WormLab: How to detect & track (workflow)

Webinar: C. elegans imaging and analysis with WormLab