This four-day long time-lapse shows the development of pre-implantation mouse embryos from the 2-cell stage to over 100-cells as the expanded blastocysts hatch from their zona pellucidas. These embryos were imaged using two-photon microscopy, which enabled us to visualize and track individual cells and lineages throughout pre-implantation development with good spatiotemporal resolution and excellent viability. Bright-field images were collected simultaneously, allowing us to visualize the over-all morphology of the embryos as they developed. Such a complete, bright-field movie of developing pre-implantation embryos is extremely useful for demonstrating the rapid and dynamic growth that occurs during the early stages of mammalian development.
Since our initial work on the subject had just been published when I made this movie, few people ended up seeing it outside of conferences or talks. Frequently, however, people would ask me to use it in their own slides and lectures, and we wanted to make it available to the community at large. The Node has been an excellent resource for developmental biologists, and I hope people are able to find this movie as useful and informative as the many others shared on The Node.
(Time stamp: hh:mm:ss, scale bar 40 microns. Source: McDole, K. and Zheng, Y., Carnegie Institute for Science – Department of Embryology).