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Trends Genet. 2013 Dec;29(12):700-11. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

A coming of age: advanced imaging technologies for characterising the developing mouse.

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University College London (UCL) Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, Division of Medicine, UCL, London, UK; Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology (CoMPLEX), UCL, London, UK.


The immense challenge of annotating the entire mouse genome has stimulated the development of cutting-edge imaging technologies in a drive for novel information. These techniques promise to improve understanding of the genes involved in embryo development, at least one third of which have been shown to be essential. Aligning advanced imaging technologies with biological needs will be fundamental to maximising the number of phenotypes discovered in the coming years. International efforts are underway to meet this challenge through an integrated and sophisticated approach to embryo phenotyping. We review rapid advances made in the imaging field over the past decade and provide a comprehensive examination of the relative merits of current and emerging techniques. The aim of this review is to provide a guide to state-of-the-art embryo imaging that will enable informed decisions as to which technology to use and fuel conversations between expert imaging laboratories, researchers, and core mouse production facilities.


high-resolution episcopic microscopy; magnetic resonance imaging; micro X-ray computed tomography; mouse embryo; optical projection tomography; phenotyping

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