Published for Silsoe Research Institute by Academic Press
Biosystems Engineering vol:125 pages:9-16
The chicken embryo provides an excellent model organism for physiological and developmental biology studies. The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is widely used to study angiogenesis and vasculogenesis in primary tumour growth. The cardiovascular system is the first organ system to form and function in the developing embryo. Heart rate (HR) is deemed to be an important physiological parameter in such studies. The heart rate of the developing embryo can be very informative in developmental studies of cardiac rhythm. Many studies have considered developing techniques to measure avian embryonic heart rate from incubated eggs. However, the existing techniques disturb the incubation process and/or are sensitive to embryonic motion. A novel non-contact, semi-invasive, and motion-tolerant technique to measuring embryonic heart rate from chicken eggs using video imaging and signal processing is described and implemented in this paper. The technique is based on videos captured from incubated eggs to recover heart rate signals. Heart rate is estimated using frequency analysis techniques and the values obtained are in agreement with results from the literature. The technique proposed in this paper provides a real-time approach to monitoring developmental embryonic heart rate. Also it can provide a promising technique for monitoring the developing vasculature in primary tumour growth.