Retention of embryonic tissue for teaching and research has become complex for medicolegal reasons following numerous organ retention issues. Virtual datasets of embryos would allow anatomical diagnosis and are both less controversial and simpler to obtain and store. Several imaging techniques are now available (High field MRI and micro-CT) which alleviate the need to dissect the tissue to create serial sections, thus maintaining tissue integrity. We present a series of images from phenotypically normal and abnormal mouse embryos (length 4-5mm) obtained using micro-CT. Three mouse embryos were immersed in potassium triiodide for 24 hours prior to being individually immobilised using non-nutrient agar. Images were acquired using a Nikon XTH225 micro-CT scanner, reconstructed using proprietary software and post-processed using VG StudioMAX. Excellent internal contrast was demonstrated in all specimens, with all organ systems delineated. Excellent views of normal central nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, genitourinary and digestive tract systems were also obtained at micrometer resolution. Specific abnormalities identified include a possible VSD (0.24mm), exencephaly and foreface disruption. Micro-CT technology can be used to create datasets of embryos at high resolution (up to 3.7 micrometers achieved), which can then be re-dissected, 3D printed or indefinitely stored and could provide a solution to current issues affecting the use of embryonic tissue for diagnosis, teaching and research.
IPR 2016 Conjoint Meeting & Exhibition