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People

Prof. Pete Scambler

Research Lead

Professor Pete Scambler

Contact us

Molecular Medicine Unit
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH

Tel: +44 (0)20 7905 2635

Imaging of the Embryonic Cardiovascular System

Imaging of the Embryonic Cardiovascular System - Compiled atlas of 19 mouse embryos imaged by MRI, sliced vertically to reveal internal structures

Overview

Congenital heart defects are, by definition, a result of abnormal processes occurring during embryonic development. In order to understand these events, we image developing mouse embryos, and collaborate with UCL’s Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (www.ucl.ac.uk/cabi) to develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a high throughput screening tool. The inherent non-invasive and three-dimensional nature of MRI makes it an ideal platform for phenotyping studies in the adult and embryonic mouse. Mark Lythgoe and his team at CABI have developed an optimised preparation and scanning protocol for MR imaging of the mouse embryo at a resolution measured in hundredths of millimetres. This enabled the identification of hearts and brains of embryos in order to model human genetic diseases. Up to 40 mouse embryos can be imaged in a single scan. As these techniques result in huge datasets, we require novel analytic tools which are developed in parallel by the UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC).

Key research activities

Atlas Generation

MRI atlases are the cornerstone of advanced computational techniques. These may be generated by combining individual MR images using registration techniques which merge 3D images together to provide enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and visualisation of anatomical detail. An embryo atlas has been created using MR images to enable subsequent automatic, high-throughput methods.

Tensor-based Morphometry

Segmentation propagation is a term for a semi-automated technique that enables rapid acquisition of data concerning the volume of structures in a population of embryos.

Segmentation Propagation

Segmentation propagation is a term for a semi-automated technique that enables rapid acquisition of data concerning the volume of structures in a population of embryos.