MR microscopy is being explored as a useful imaging tool to phenotype mouse embryos due to its volume coverage with three-dimensional isotropic resolution. However, the main limitation for mouse embryo MR microscopy is the signal-to-noise ratio. Large numbers of embryos are needed for phenotypic screening, making high throughput essential. Two high-throughput imaging approaches, multi-embryo shared-coil (shared) and multi-embryo individual-coil (individual), have been developed for phenotyping mouse embryos. This study quantitatively compares the signal-to-noise ratio at equivalent times between these two established methods by compensating for differences that result from field strength. While the individual method provides 3.3 times as much signal-to-noise ratio as the shared method at equivalent conditions, it is more difficult and expensive to implement. Furthermore, the number of embryos that can be imaged concurrently is limited by the number of receiver channels. The objective of this study is to provide measured comparative data to guide choices for high-throughput mouse embryo MR microscopy and other similar applications.
(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.