1. Articles in category: Developmental Biology

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    1. In vivo dynamic 3D imaging of oocytes and embryos in the mouse oviduct

      In vivo dynamic 3D imaging of oocytes and embryos in the mouse oviduct

      Developmental biologists have always relied on imaging to shed light on dynamic cellular events. However, processes such as mammalian fertilization and embryogenesis are generally inaccessible for direct imaging. In consequence, how the oviduct (fallopian tube) facilitates the transport of gametes and preimplantation embryos continues to be unanswered. Here we present a combination of intravital window and optical coherence tomography for dynamic, volumetric, in vivo imaging of oocytes and embryos as they are transported through the mouse oviduct. We observed location-dependent circling, oscillating, and long-distance bi-directional movements of oocytes and embryos that suggest regulatory mechanisms driving transport and question established views ...

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    2. The unexpected journey of the egg and the embryo through the fallopian tube

      The unexpected journey of the egg and the embryo through the fallopian tube

      The journey of the egg and the embryo through the fallopian tube or oviduct toward the uterus is not well understood, mainly because it is inaccessible for direct imaging. Looking to shed new light on the dynamics of the eggs prior to fertilization and embryo transport preceding implantation, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Stevens Institute of Technology developed a novel imaging approach that has allowed them to see eggs and embryos as they move along the fallopian tube in a live animal.

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    3. Prenatal ethanol exposure impairs the conduction delay at the atrioventricular junction in the looping heart

      Prenatal ethanol exposure impairs the conduction delay at the atrioventricular junction in the looping heart

      The etiology of ethanol-related congenital heart defects has been the focus of much study, but most research has concentrated on cellular and molecular mechanisms. We have shown with optical coherence tomography (OCT) that ethanol exposure led to increased retrograde flow and smaller atrioventricular (AV) cushions compared to controls. Since AV cushions play a role in patterning the conduction delay at the atrioventricular junction (AVJ), this study aims to investigate whether ethanol exposure alters the AVJ conduction in early looping hearts and whether this alteration is related to the decreased cushion size. Quail embryos were exposed to a single dose of ...

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    4. Xenopus Tadpole Craniocardiac Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography

      Xenopus Tadpole Craniocardiac Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography

      Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging can be used to visualize craniocardiac structures in the Xenopus model system. OCT is analogous to ultrasound, utilizing light instead of sound to create a gray-scale image from the echo time delay of infrared light reflected from the specimen. OCT is a high-speed, cross-sectional, label-free imaging modality, which can outline dynamic in vivo morphology at resolutions approaching histological detail. OCT imaging can acquire 2D and 3D data in real time to assess cardiac and facial structures. Additionally, during cardiac imaging, Doppler imaging can be used to assess the blood flow pattern in relation to the ...

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      Mentions: Yale University
    5. Cornell University Receives a NIH Grant for Real-time Aberration Sensor for Large-Scale Microscopy Deep in the Mouse and Adult Zebrafish Brain

      Cornell University Receives a NIH Grant for Real-time Aberration Sensor for Large-Scale Microscopy Deep in the Mouse and Adult Zebrafish Brain

      Cornell University Receives a 2021 NIH Grant for $1,982,304 for Real-time Aberration Sensor for Large-Scale Microscopy Deep in the Mouse and Adult Zebrafish Brain. The principal investigator is Steven Adie. Below is a summary of the proposed work. Optical imaging holds tremendous promise in our endeavor to understand brain functions. The major challenges for optical brain imaging are depth and speed. Due to optical aberrations and tissue scattering, the penetration depth and imaging speed of optical microscopy in the brains (e.g., mouse) is limited. The constraints in depth and speed make large-scale, deep imaging of mouse brain ...

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    6. 4-D Imaging of Beating Tissues using Optical Coherence Tomography

      4-D Imaging of Beating Tissues using Optical Coherence Tomography

      An imaging technique which reconstructs structure and flow in tissue with repetitive motion was developed using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). The demonstrated technique is able to accurately image both host tissue and flow at different time points during a cyclic motion, such as a cardiac cycle. Using tissue-mimicking phantoms, a phase-sensitive spectral-domain OCT system was combined with a cyclic-motion simulator to demonstrate the feasibility of the method. 3-D flow information at different time points in the cyclical motion was reconstructed in the temporal domain thus generating the 4-D imaging of the target tissue. This method could expand OCT-based studies such ...

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    7. Heartbeat optical coherence elastography: corneal biomechanics in vivo

      Heartbeat optical coherence elastography: corneal biomechanics in vivo

      Significance: Mechanical assessment of the cornea can provide important structural and functional information regarding its health. Current clinically available tools are limited in their efficacy at measuring corneal mechanical properties. Elastography allows for the direct estimation of mechanical properties of tissues in vivo but is generally performed using external excitation force. Aim: To show that heartbeat optical coherence elastography (Hb-OCE) can be used to assess the mechanical properties of the cornea in vivo. Approach: Hb-OCE was utilized to detect Hb-induced deformations in the rabbit cornea in vivo without the need for external excitation. Furthermore, we demonstrate how this technique can ...

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    8. On the Nature of Murine Radiation-Induced Subcapsular Cataracts: Optical Coherence Tomography-Based Fine Classification, In Vivo Dynamics and Impact on Visual Acuity

      On the Nature of Murine Radiation-Induced Subcapsular Cataracts: Optical Coherence Tomography-Based Fine Classification, In Vivo Dynamics and Impact on Visual Acuity

      Ionizing radiation is widely known to induce various kinds of lens cataracts, of which posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSCs) have the highest prevalence. Despite some studies regarding the epidemiology and biology of radiation-induced PSCs, the mechanism underscoring the formation of this type of lesions and their dose dependency remain uncertain. Within the current study, our team investigated the in vivo characteristics of PSCs in B6C3F1 mice (F1-hybrids of BL6 × C3H) that received 0.5–2 Gy γ-ray irradiation after postnatal day 70. For purposes of assessing lenticular damages, spectral domain optical coherence tomography was utilized, and the visual acuity of the ...

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    9. Interactive effect of photoperiod and temperature on the induction and termination of embryonic diapause in the migratory locust

      Interactive effect of photoperiod and temperature on the induction and termination of embryonic diapause in the migratory locust

      Background Diapause plays a vital role in the survival and population reproduction of the migratory locust in temperate regions. Although some studies have suggested that photoperiod and temperature are two important environmental factors involved in the induction and termination of embryonic diapause in locusts, the independent or synergetic roles of these two factors are still unclear. Results We designed crossover experiments to investigate the effects of photoperiod, temperature and treatment time on the induction and termination of embryonic diapause in locusts by optical coherence tomography (OCT), which can track the entire embryonic developmental process via noninvasive 3D realā€time imaging ...

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    10. Three-dimensional live imaging of bovine embryos by optical coherence tomography

      Three-dimensional live imaging of bovine embryos by optical coherence tomography

      While embryo transfer (ET) is widely practiced, many of the transferred embryos fail to develop in cattle. To establish a more effective method for selecting bovine embryos for ET, here we quantified morphological parameters of living embryos using three-dimensional (3D) images non-invasively captured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Seven Japanese Black embryos produced by in vitro fertilization that had reached the expanded blastocyst stage after 7 days of culture were transferred after imaged by OCT. Twenty-two parameters, including thickness and volumes of the inner cell mass, trophectoderm, and zona pellucida, and volumes of blastocoel and whole embryo, were quantified from ...

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    11. Folic acid prevents functional and structural heart defects induced by prenatal ethanol exposur

      Folic acid prevents functional and structural heart defects induced by prenatal ethanol exposur

      Increased regurgitant blood flow has been linked to endocardial cushion defects and resultant congenital heart diseases (CHDs). Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) has been shown to alter early blood flow resulting in abnormal endocardial cushions and CHDs. Compounds, including folic acid (FA), mitigate PAE effects and prevent CHDs, but few studies have assessed their effects on blood flow. We modeled binge drinking in quail embryos at gastrulation. Embryos were exposed to ethanol alone, FA (3.2 μg/egg) alone, and the two simultaneously. We quantified in cardiac looping stages (equivalent to 4 weeks of human gestation) regurgitant blood flow with Doppler ...

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    12. Washington University in St. LouisReceives NIH Grant for High-Throughput Integrated Live Imaging and Optogentic Pacing Platform to Assess Hypoxia Responsiveness in the Fly Heart

      Washington University in St. LouisReceives NIH Grant for High-Throughput Integrated Live Imaging and Optogentic Pacing Platform to Assess Hypoxia Responsiveness in the Fly Heart

      Washington University Receives a 2021 NIH Grant for $529,434 for High-Throughput Integrated Live Imaging and Optogentic Pacing Platform to Assess Hypoxia Responsiveness in the Fly Heart. The principal investigator is Chao Zhou. Below is a summary of the proposed work. Ischemic preconditioning is a well-established phenomenon, in which a brief episode(s) of controlled ischemia and reperfusion renders cardioprotection from a subsequent sustained episode of ischemia. An emerging body of evidence demonstrated that neural regulated heart rate modulation confers cardiac preconditioning responses. Understanding the mechanism through model systems of preconditioning would help us identify the genes and proteins when ...

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    13. In Xenopus ependymal cilia drive embryonic CSF circulation and brain development independently of cardiac pulsatile forces

      In Xenopus ependymal cilia drive embryonic CSF circulation and brain development independently of cardiac pulsatile forces

      Background Hydrocephalus, the pathological expansion of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-filled cerebral ventricles, is a common, deadly disease. In the adult, cardiac and respiratory forces are the main drivers of CSF flow within the brain ventricular system to remove waste and deliver nutrients. In contrast, the mechanics and functions of CSF circulation in the embryonic brain are poorly understood. This is primarily due to the lack of model systems and imaging technology to study these early time points. Here, we studied embryos of the vertebrate Xenopus with optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to investigate in vivo ventricular and neural development ...

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    14. Intact in vivo visualization of telencephalic microvasculature in medaka using optical coherence tomography

      Intact in vivo visualization of telencephalic microvasculature in medaka using optical coherence tomography

      To date, various human disease models in small fish—such as medaka (Oryzias lapties)—have been developed for medical and pharmacological studies. Although genetic and environmental homogeneities exist, disease progressions can show large individual differences in animal models. In this study, we established an intact in vivo angiographic approach and explored vascular networks in the telencephalon of wild-type adult medaka using the spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Our approach, which required neither surgical operations nor labeling agents, allowed to visualize blood vessels in medaka telencephala as small as about 8 µm, that is, almost the size of the blood cells of ...

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    15. Embryonic Mouse Cardiodynamic OCT Imaging

      Embryonic Mouse Cardiodynamic OCT Imaging

      The embryonic heart is an active and developing organ. Genetic studies in mouse models have generated great insight into normal heart development and congenital heart defects, and suggest mechanical forces such as heart contraction and blood flow to be implicated in cardiogenesis and disease. To explore this relationship and investigate the interplay between biomechanical forces and cardiac development, live dynamic cardiac imaging is essential.

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    16. High-resolution polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography for zebrafish muscle imaging

      High-resolution polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography for zebrafish muscle imaging

      Zebrafish are an important animal model, whose structure and function information can be used to study development, pathologic changes and genetic mutations. However, limited by the penetration depth, the available optical methods are difficult to image the whole-body zebrafish in juvenile and adult stages. Based on a home-made high-resolution polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) system, we finished in vivo volumetric imaging for zebrafish, and various muscles can be clearly discerned by scanning from dorsal, ventral, and lateral directions. Besides structure information, polarization properties extracted from PS-OCT images provide abundant function information to distinguish different muscles. Furthermore, we found local retardation ...

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    17. OCT Reveals Biomechanics of a Developing Mouse Heart, Live in 4D

      OCT Reveals Biomechanics of a Developing Mouse Heart, Live in 4D

      Scientists from Stevens Institute of Technology and Baylor College of Medicine used 4D optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study the pumping mechanism underlying the developing mammalian heart. 4D OCT allowed them to investigate the functional relation between blood flow and heart wall dynamics within different regions of the embryonic heart at a level of detail not currently accessible by other methods. 4D OCT could potentially enable scientists to assess cardiac pumping over embryonic development as the heart tube remodels, which could reveal functional changes during early cardiogenesis that lead to congenital heart defects. The researchers used 4D OCT to obtain ...

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    18. Cerebral tissue pO2 response to treadmill exercise in awake mice

      Cerebral tissue pO2 response to treadmill exercise in awake mice

      We exploited two-photon microscopy and Doppler optical coherence tomography to examine the cerebral blood flow and tissue pO 2 response to forced treadmill exercise in awake mice. To our knowledge, this is the first study performing both direct measure of brain tissue pO 2 during acute forced exercise and underlying microvascular response at capillary and non-capillary levels. We observed that cerebral perfusion and oxygenation are enhanced during running at 5 m/min compared to rest. At faster running speeds (10 and 15 m/min), decreasing trends in arteriolar and capillary flow speed were observed, which could be due to cerebral ...

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    19. Live mechanistic assessment of localized cardiac pumping in mammalian tubular embryonic heart

      Live mechanistic assessment of localized cardiac pumping in mammalian tubular embryonic heart

      Significance: Understanding how the valveless embryonic heart pumps blood is essential to elucidate biomechanical cues regulating cardiogenesis, which is important for the advancement of congenital heart defects research. However, methods capable of embryonic cardiac pumping analysis remain limited, and assessing this highly dynamic process in mammalian embryos is challenging. New approaches are critically needed to address this hurdle. Aim: We report an imaging-based approach for functional assessment of localized pumping dynamics in the early tubular embryonic mouse heart. Approach: Four-dimensional optical coherence tomography was used to obtain structural and Doppler hemodynamic imaging of the beating heart in live mouse embryos ...

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    20. Dynamic Imaging of Mouse Embryos and Cardiac Development in Static Culture

      Dynamic Imaging of Mouse Embryos and Cardiac Development in Static Culture

      Dynamic imaging is a powerful approach to assess the function of a developing organ system. The heart is a dynamic organ that undergoes quick morphological and mechanical changes through early embryonic development. Defining the embyonic mouse heart's normal function is important for our own understanding of human heart development and will inform us on treatments and prevention of congenital heart defects (CHD). Traditional methods such as ultrasound or fluorescence-based microscopy are suitable for live dynamic imaging, are excellent to visualize structure and connect gene expression to phenotypes, but can be of low quality in resolving fine features and lack ...

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    21. Innovative method offers a new way of studying developmental cardiac biomechanics, live in 4-D

      Innovative method offers a new way of studying developmental cardiac biomechanics, live in 4-D

      How a valveless embryonic heart tube pumps blood is a long-standing scientific mystery. Thanks to innovations in light-based technology, fresh insights are now available into the biomechanics of mammalian cardiogenesis—and in particular, the pumping dynamics of the mammalian tubular embryonic heart.

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    22. Red-light Heartbeat Control and Optical Coherence Microscopy (OCM) Imaging in Drosophila (Thesis)

      Red-light Heartbeat Control and Optical Coherence Microscopy (OCM) Imaging in Drosophila (Thesis)

      would like to thank my advisor Prof. Chao Zhou, who gave me the opportunity to pursue a higher-level education in the United States, and led me to the field of biomedical engineering. I still have the impression that I was attracted by the fast heartbeat of a Drosophila Prof. Zhou showed with a video in his presentation in Peking University in 2014. I was curious that how the fast heartbeat could be tracked using OCT. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to join the group during that summer. In the next several years during my PhD period, Prof. Zhou guided me ...

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    23. Baylor College of Medicine Receives a 2020 NIH Grant for Biomechanics of Early Mammalian Cardiogenesis

      Baylor College of Medicine Receives a 2020 NIH Grant for Biomechanics of Early Mammalian Cardiogenesis

      Baylor College of Medicine Receives a 2020 NIH Grant for $554,542 for Biomechanics of Early Mammalian Cardiogenesis. The principal investigator is Irina Larina. Below is a summary of the proposed work. Human congenital heart defects (CHD) are very common, occurring in nearly 1% of live births. Moreover, cardiovascular (CV) failures are the leading cause of birth defect- related deaths in infants. It is well established that biomechanical stimuli are important regulators of CV development. Thus, defining how mechanical factors are integrated with genetic pathways to coordinate mammalian heart tube function and morphogenesis is critically important for understanding CHD and ...

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    24. Methotrexate impaired in-vivo matured mouse oocyte quality and the possible mechanisms

      Methotrexate impaired in-vivo matured mouse oocyte quality and the possible mechanisms

      Background Methotrexate (MTX) is an antifolate agent which is widely used in clinic for treating malignancies, rheumatoid arthritis and ectopic pregnancy. As reported, MTX has side effects on gastrointestinal system, nervous system and reproductive system, while its potential damages on oocyte quality are still unclear. It is known that oocyte quality is essential for healthy conception and the forthcoming embryo development. Thus, this work studied the effects of MTX on the oocyte quality. Results We established MTX model mice by single treatment with 5 mg/Kg MTX. Both morphological and molecular biology studies were performed to assess the in-vivo matured ...

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