Dynamic imaging and quantitative analysis of cranial neural tube closure in the mouse embryo using optical coherence tomography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Tomsk State University
  • University of Houston


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#280968
Pages (from-to)407-419
Number of pages13
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number1
StatusPublished - Jan 1 2017


Neural tube closure is a critical feature of central nervous system morphogenesis during embryonic development. Failure of this process leads to neural tube defects, one of the most common forms of human congenital defects. Although molecular and genetic studies in model organisms have provided insights into the genes and proteins that are required for normal neural tube development, complications associated with live imaging of neural tube closure in mammals limit efficient morphological analyses. Here, we report the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for dynamic imaging and quantitative assessment of cranial neural tube closure in live mouse embryos in culture. Through time-lapse imaging, we captured two neural tube closure mechanisms in different cranial regions, zipper-like closure of the hindbrain region and button-like closure of the midbrain region. We also used OCT imaging for phenotypic characterization of a neural tube defect in a mouse mutant. These results suggest that the described approach is a useful tool for live dynamic analysis of normal neural tube closure and neural tube defects in the mouse model.

    Research areas

  • Medical and biological imaging, Optical coherence tomography, Time-resolved imaging