Three-dimensional microCT imaging of mouse development from early post-implantation to early postnatal stages

Dev Biol. 2016 Nov 15;419(2):229-236. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.09.011. Epub 2016 Sep 23.


In this work, we report the use of iodine-contrast microCT to perform high-throughput 3D morphological analysis of mouse embryos and neonates between embryonic day 8.5 to postnatal day 3, with high spatial resolution up to 3µm/voxel. We show that mouse embryos at early stages can be imaged either within extra embryonic tissues such as the yolk sac or the decidua without physically disturbing the embryos. This method enables a full, undisturbed analysis of embryo turning, allantois development, vitelline vessels remodeling, yolk sac and early placenta development, which provides increased insights into early embryonic lethality in mutant lines. Moreover, these methods are inexpensive, simple to learn and do not require substantial processing time, making them ideal for high throughput analysis of mouse mutants with embryonic and early postnatal lethality.

Keywords: Embryonic lethal screening; IMPC; MicroCT.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Contrast Media
  • Decidua / ultrastructure
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Female
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Hydrogels
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Iodine
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Phenotype
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods*
  • Yolk Sac / ultrastructure


  • Contrast Media
  • Hydrogels
  • Iodine