Micro-magnetic resonance imaging study of live quail embryos during embryonic development

S Duce, F Morrison, Monique Welten, G Baggott, Cheryll Tickle

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16 Citations (SciVal)


Eggs containing live Japanese quail embryos were imaged using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (mu MRI) at 24-h intervals from Day 0 to 8, the period during which the main body axis is being laid down and organogenesis is taking place. Considerable detail of non-embryonic structures such as the latebra was revealed at early stages but the embryo could only be visualized around Day 3. Three-dimensional (3D) changes in embryo length and volume were quantified and also changes in volume in the extra- and non-embryonic components. The embryo increased in length by 43% and nearly trebled in volume between Day 4 and Day 5. Although the amount of yolk remained fairly constant over the first 5 days, the amount of albumen decreases significantly and was replaced by extra-embryonic fluid (EEF). H-1 longitudinal (T-1) and transverse (T-2) relaxation times of different regions within the eggs were determined over the first 6 days of development. The T-2 measurements mirrored the changes in image intensity observed, which can be related to the aqueous protein concentrations. In addition, a comparison of the development of Day 0 to 3 quail embryos exposed to radiofrequency (rf) pulses, 7 T static magnetic fields and magnetic field gradients for an average of 7 h with the development of control embryos did not reveal any gross changes, thus confirming that mu MRI is a suitable tool for following the development of live avian embryos over time from the earliest stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • embryonic development
  • in ovo
  • safety
  • Micro-MRI (mu MRI)
  • embryo
  • quail
  • egg


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