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

Suzanne Duce, Fiona Morrison, Monique Welten, Glenn Baggott, Cheryll Tickle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
243 Downloads (Pure)


Eggs containing live Japanese quail embryos were imaged using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (μMRI) 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). ¹H longitudinal (T₁) and transverse (T₂) relaxation times of different regions within the eggs were determined over the first 6 days of development. The T₂ 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 μMRI 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
Early online date21 Sep 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Animals
  • Coturnix
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Embryonic Development
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Miniaturization
  • Quail
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity

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