Talk:Human Embryo Collections

From Embryology

A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.

(Latin, consors = partner; from con = together and sors = fate, meaning owner of means or comrade)


Kyoto Collection

"Approximately 44,000 human embryos and fetuses have been collected and stored at Kyoto University over the past four decades, with the aid of several hundred obstetricians. In the majority of the cases, pregnancy was terminated for social reasons during the first trimester of pregnancy (the Maternity Protection Law of Japan) and healthy embryo generally were derived from the pregnancies. The pregnancies were mainly terminated by dilatation and curettage. Some specimens were derived from spontaneous or threatened abortions. Because the attending obstetricians did not examine the aborted materials, the collection of embryos was not biased by their outcome (normal or abnormal, live or dead, etc.) and the embryo collection can be considered to be representative of the total intrauterine population in Japan."

Imaging of a large collection of human embryo using a super-parallel MR microscope

Magn Reson Med Sci. 2007;6(3):139-46.

Matsuda Y, Ono S, Otake Y, Handa S, Kose K, Haishi T, Yamada S, Uwabe C, Shiota K. Source Institute of Applied Physics, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Using 4 and 8-channel super-parallel magnetic resonance (MR) microscopes with a horizontal bore 2.34T superconducting magnet developed for 3-dimensional MR microscopy of the large Kyoto Collection of Human Embryos, we acquired T(1)-weighted 3D images of 1204 embryos at a spatial resolution of (40 microm)(3) to (150 microm)(3) in about 2 years. Similarity of image contrast between the T(1)-weighted images and stained anatomical sections indicated that T(1)-weighted 3D images could be used for an anatomical 3D image database for human embryology.

PMID 18037794

Graphic and movie illustrations of human prenatal development and their application to embryological education based on the human embryo specimens in the Kyoto collection

Dev Dyn. 2006 Feb;235(2):468-77.

Yamada S, Uwabe C, Nakatsu-Komatsu T, Minekura Y, Iwakura M, Motoki T, Nishimiya K, Iiyama M, Kakusho K, Minoh M, Mizuta S, Matsuda T, Matsuda Y, Haishi T, Kose K, Fujii S, Shiota K. Source Congenital Anomaly Research Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


Morphogenesis in the developing embryo takes place in three dimensions, and in addition, the dimension of time is another important factor in development. Therefore, the presentation of sequential morphological changes occurring in the embryo (4D visualization) is essential for understanding the complex morphogenetic events and the underlying mechanisms. Until recently, 3D visualization of embryonic structures was possible only by reconstruction from serial histological sections, which was tedious and time-consuming. During the past two decades, 3D imaging techniques have made significant advances thanks to the progress in imaging and computer technologies, computer graphics, and other related techniques. Such novel tools have enabled precise visualization of the 3D topology of embryonic structures and to demonstrate spatiotemporal 4D sequences of organogenesis. Here, we describe a project in which staged human embryos are imaged by the magnetic resonance (MR) microscope, and 3D images of embryos and their organs at each developmental stage were reconstructed based on the MR data, with the aid of computer graphics techniques. On the basis of the 3D models of staged human embryos, we constructed a data set of 3D images of human embryos and made movies to illustrate the sequential process of human morphogenesis. Furthermore, a computer-based self-learning program of human embryology is being developed for educational purposes, using the photographs, histological sections, MR images, and 3D models of staged human embryos. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID 16317724

Normal and abnormal development of human embryos: first report of the analysis of 1,213 intact embryos

Teratology. 1968 Aug;1(3):281-90.

Nishimura H, Takano K, Tanimura T, Yasuda M. PMID 5759548

Carnegie Collection

The manifestation of the axes of the human embryo

Ronan O'Rahilly

Modeling Man: The Monkey Colony at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Embryology, 1925-1971

J Hist Biol. 2011 Apr 19.

Source National Museum of Health and Medicine, 6900 Georgia Ave, NW, Building 54, Washington, DC, 20307, USA,


Though better recognized for its immediate endeavors in human embryo research, the Carnegie Department of Embryology also employed a breeding colony of rhesus macaques for the purposes of studying human reproduction. This essay follows the course of the first enterprise in maintaining a primate colony for laboratory research and the overlapping scientific, social, and political circumstances that tolerated and cultivated the colony's continued operation from 1925 until 1971. Despite a new-found priority for reproductive sciences in the United States, by the early 1920s an unfertilized human ovum had not yet been seen and even the timing of ovulation remained unresolved. Progress would require an organized research approach that could extend beyond the limitations of working with scant and inherently restrictive human subjects or with common lab mammals like mice. In response, the Department of Embryology, under the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), instituted a novel methodology using a particular primate species as a surrogate in studying normal human reproductive physiology. Over more than 40 years the monkey colony followed an unpremeditated trajectory that would contribute fundamentally to discoveries in human reproduction, early embryo development, reliable birth control methods, and to the establishment of the rhesus macaque as a common model organism.

PMID 21503772

Blechschmidt Collection

(University of Goettingen, Germany)

Managing Director Prof. Dr. J. Staiger Phone: 7052 Fax: 14016

Prof. Dr. Jochen Staiger,

  • Professor E. Blechschmidt embryological collection were assigned Carnegie Nos. 10315-10434 in 1972.
  • because Professor Blechschmidt's wish was and is to have his collection combined with the Carnegie Collection.
  • Blechschmidt Collection was housed temporarily in the Department of Anatomy of Louisiana State University, New Orleans, under the care of Dr. Raymond F. Gasser.
  • basis of two important atlases (Blechschmidt, 1963, 1973)
    • Blechschmidt, E. 1963. Der menschliche Embryo. Dokumen- tationen zur kinetiscben Anatomie. Schattauer, Stuttgart.
    • Blechschmidt, E. 1973. Die prdnatalen Organsysteme des Menschen. Hippokrates, Stuttgart.
  • three-dimensional reconstructions are housed in the Anatomisches Institut der Universitat Gottingen.
  • the staging of these embryos has not been completed.

Ziegler Models

Book - Embryos in Wax: Models from the Ziegler Studio

Hubrecht Collection

A treasure house of comparative embryology

Int J Dev Biol. 1999;43(7):591-602.

Richardson MK, Narraway J. Source Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, United Kingdom.


The Embryo Collection of the Hubrecht Laboratory is a treasure house of comparative embryology. It is the largest and most important collection of its kind in the world, and consists of thousands of vertebrate embryos stored in alcohol, or prepared as histological sections. Many elusive species are included in the collection, some represented by complete developmental series. The accompanying archives offer a remarkable insight into the methods used to collect embryos form wild animals, as well as the motives behind the founders of the collection. Carefully maintained, documented and catalogued, the collection is available for study by all interested scientists. We argue that this collection is one of the greatest biodiversity resources in existence.

PMID 10668968

A brief history of the Hubrecht Laboratory

Int J Dev Biol. 1999;43(7):583-90.

Faasse P, Faber J, Narraway J. Source Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht.

PMID 10668967

Hill Collection

Hinrichsen Collection

Principles of ontogenesis of leg and foot in man.

Ann Anat. 1994 Apr;176(2):121-30.

Hinrichsen KV1, Jacob HJ, Jacob M, Brand-Saberi B, Christ B, Grim M.


Human leg and foot anlagen of different developmental stages were studied by means of light and scanning electron microscopy. The findings were compared with principles of human arm and hand development and results obtained experimentally from chicken limbs. The limbs studied have in common the shaping, cell differentiation, and spatial arrangement of different cells as basic processes of development. On the other hand, upper and lower limbs are very different in human and avian embryos with regard to their position, form, and function. We found that the different positions in relation to the dorsal and ventral surfaces and maintenance of the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) are important factors leading to the different orientations and forms of limbs. The unequal length of the fingers and toes might also be explained in this way. Differences in the position of the most distal muscles in the hand and foot could be a consequence of the cranio-caudal sequence of development. The factors controlling the developmental differences between arm and leg are discussed. PMID 8210047

Morphological aspects of the pharyngeal hypophysis in human embryos. Acta Morphol Neerl Scand. 1986;24(3):235-47.

Hinrichsen K1, Mestres P, Jacob HJ.


In human embryos the hypophyseal sac (Rathke's pouch) originates at the roof of the mouth until stage 15 as a broad rim. As the mandibular arch and the maxillary swelling enhance the mesodermal masses in forming the early palatal shelves the rim is reduced to a cleft of about 0.2 mm in broadness in stage 17. From stage 18 up to stage 23 there is a prominent papilla in the midline of the mouth's roof which later on may become recanalized. The different SEM-aspects of the pharyngeal hypophysis are demonstrated. PMID 3425402

Search Pubmed Hinrichsen KV Author

Duke University Comparative Embryology Collection

London Hospital Anatomy Department

Shute CCD. Nervous pathways in the developing human labyrinth (1951) J. Anat.

The present investigation has been undertaken on serially sectioned human embryos of the London Hospital Anatomy Department collection prepared according to de Castro’s silver impregnation technique.

  • No. H. 214. C.R. length 15-5 mm., plane of section transverse.
  • No. H. 191. C.R. length 17-5 mm., plane of section transverse.
  • No. H. 180. C.R. length 30 mm., plane of section transverse.
  • No. H. 206. C.R. length 43 mm., plane of section coronal left half of head.
  • No. H. 206. C.R. length 43 mm., plane of section sagittal right half of head.
  • No. H. 218 R. length 48 mm., plane of section coronal left half of head.
  • No. H. 218. C.R. length 48 mm., plane of section sagittal right half of head.
  • No. H. 209. C.R.. length 62 mm., plane of section coronal.
  • No. H. 125. R. length 92 -mm., plane of section coronal left half of head.
  • No. H. 125. R. length 92 mm., plane of section sagittal right half of head.

Harvard Collection

Harvard Collection

Central Laboratory for Human Embryology

[ SDB Workshop held on September 18 and 19 1997]

Collecting Human Embryos And Fetuses: Thirty-Five Years Of Experience

Alan G. Fantel, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington

The Central Laboratory for Human Embryology has collected, studied and analyzed human conceptal tissue for nearly 35 years. During that time, changes in laws, practice, funding and medical technology have significantly affected the condition, types and stages of embryonic and fetal tissues available for research. We will discuss these changing relationships, detailing tissue availability today and present information on obtaining material for biomedical research, including imaging. During the 1960s, most tissue collected by the laboratory was delivered by spontaneous abortion. Despite this designation, the percentage that was actually induced could not be determined. While these specimens enabled studies of abortus morphology and cytogenetics, they were generally too autolyzed for imaging, biochemical or molecular studies. Tissue available for research was largely derived from hysterotomy and hysterectomy and to a lesser extent, from surgical intervention in ectopic pregnancy. Hysterotomy specimens tended to date from mid second through third trimesters and preservation was generally poor. They were often nonviable in utero for days or were exposed to KCl prior to delivery, inducing rapid and severe autolysis. Specimens derived from hysterectomy tended to be in excellent condition but generally dated from relatively late gestation. Ectopic specimens served as a primary source of embryos but massive bleeding and tubal rupture commonly limited successful retrieval. These rare specimens remain an important source of intact, early material. In the 1970s Washington enacted therapeutic abortion on demand. Most terminations were performed by dilatation and manual curettage and it became possible to obtain increasing amounts of well preserved tissue. Embryos tended to be relatively intact and most organs and tissues could be collected. Increasing use of vacuum extraction in the late 1970s made tissue retrieval challenging, since specimens tended to be severely fragmented by exposure to pressure gradients and passage through fine cannulas, long runs of tubing and collection in gauze bags. Most of these specimens date from late first and early second trimesters with increasing availability of late second and third trimester fetuses. In the late 1980s and early 90s, they were often pretreated with KCl, rendering them useless for detailed study.

Today, the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology supplies university and institute-based investigators nationwide with embryonic tissues processed according to the requirements of individual studies. Technicians collect at clinic sites where specimens are obtained within minutes of passage, rapidly assessed and staged. Individual tissues are then identified, separated, processed and delivered to the laboratory from which they are shipped by overnight air express. Information on obtaining embryonic or fetal tissue can be obtained at 800-583-0668.

Paris Embryological Collection

An Acad Bras Cienc. 1990 Mar;62(1):79-84. Development of the coronary arteries in staged human embryos (the Paris Embryological Collection revisited). Mandarim-de-Lacerda CA. Author information


Twenty seven human embryos from stages 15 to 23 (postsomitic period), belonging to the collection of the "UFR Biomédicale des Saints-Pères, Université René Descartes Paris V", were studied. Details of the aorticopulmonary cleavage were analysed specially aortic valve development and origin of the coronary artery. At stage 18 the aortic valve was clearly distinguished (cup-shaped) presenting semilunar valves and aortic sinus (Valsalvae); at this stage the left coronary artery was detected in 66.7 per cent of the cases as an endothelial epicardial invagination. At stage 19, the left and right coronary arteries were detected simultaneously in 100 per cent of the cases. At stage 20, the coronary arteries showed greater structural complexity with a coat of mesenchymal cells. These results agree with previous data from different embryological collections. These findings suggest that the left coronary artery has a tendency to develop earlier than the right. We found no evidence of the coronary origin from the aortic lumen. This work provides additional information about the embryological development of the heart, obtained from the analyses of a French collection of human embryos.

PMID 2097914


Human Developmental Studies Network (HuDSeN)

Wellcome Human Developmental Biology Resource (

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01290.x;jsessionid=7D56A296108D4E410AB20D5F7C5624C1.f04t01

The corticofugal neuron-associated genes ROBO1, SRGAP1, and CTIP2 exhibit an anterior to posterior gradient of expression in early fetal human neocortex development

Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jun;21(6):1395-407. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq219. Epub 2010 Nov 8.

Ip BK1, Bayatti N, Howard NJ, Lindsay S, Clowry GJ. Author information

Abstract Developing neocortical progenitors express transcription factors in gradients that induce programs of region-specific gene expression. Our previous work identified anteriorly upregulated expression gradients of a number of corticofugal neuron-associated gene probe sets along the anterior-posterior axis of the human neocortex (8-12 postconceptional weeks [PCW]). Here, we demonstrate by real-time polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry that 3 such genes, ROBO1, SRGAP1, and CTIP2 are highly expressed anteriorly between 8-12 PCW, in comparison with other genes (FEZF2, SOX5) expressed by Layer V, VI, and subplate neurons. All 3 were prominently expressed by early postmitotic neurons in the subventricular zone, intermediate zone, and cortical plate (CP) from 8 to 10 PCW. Between 12 and 15 PCW expression patterns for ER81 and SATB2 (Layer V), TBR1 (Layer V/VI) and NURR1 (Layer VI) revealed Layer V forming. By 15 PCW, ROBO1 and SRGAP1 expression was confined to Layer V, whereas CTIP2 was expressed throughout the CP anteriorly. We observed ROBO1 and SRGAP1 immunoreactivity in medullary corticospinal axons from 11 PCW onward. Thus, we propose that the coexpression of these 3 markers in the anterior neocortex may mark the early location of the human motor cortex, including its corticospinal projection neurons, allowing further study of their early differentiation.

PMID 21060114

The HUDSEN Atlas: a three-dimensional (3D) spatial framework for studying gene expression in the developing human brain

J Anat. 2010 Oct;217(4):289-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01290.x.

Kerwin J1, Yang Y, Merchan P, Sarma S, Thompson J, Wang X, Sandoval J, Puelles L, Baldock R, Lindsay S.

Author information


We are developing a three-dimensional (3D) atlas of the human embryonic brain using anatomical landmarks and gene expression data to define major subdivisions through 12 stages of development [Carnegie Stages (CS) 12-23; approximately 26-56 days post conception (dpc)]. Virtual 3D anatomical models are generated from intact specimens using optical projection tomography (OPT). Using MAPAINT software, selected gene expression data, gathered using standard methods of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, are mapped to a representative 3D model for each chosen Carnegie stage. In these models, anatomical domains, defined on the basis of morphological landmarks and comparative knowledge of expression patterns in vertebrates, are linked to a developmental neuroanatomic ontology. Human gene expression patterns for genes with characteristic expression in different vertebrates (e.g. PAX6, GAD65 and OLIG2) are being used to confirm and/or refine the human anatomical domain boundaries. We have also developed interpolation software that digitally generates a full domain from partial data. Currently, the 3D models and a preliminary set of anatomical domains and ontology are available on the atlas pages along with gene expression data from approximately 100 genes in the HUDSEN Human Spatial Gene Expression Database ( The aim is that full 3D data will be generated from expression data used to define a more detailed set of anatomical domains linked to a more advanced anatomy ontology and all of these will be available online, contributing to the long-term goal of the atlas, which is to help maximize the effective use and dissemination of data wherever it is generated. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2010 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Our 3D reference models are generated from intact human embryos using the rapid and non-invasive technique of optical projection tomography (OPT; Sharpe et al. 2002). The HUDSEN atlas is based on 12 such OPT models covering the range of Carnegie Stages CS12 (approximately 26 dpc; the closure of the caudal neuropore) to CS23 (approximately 56 dpc; the end of the embryonic period, when all the major organs have developed).

PMID 20979583

Expression of PLA2G6 in human fetal development: Implications for infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy

Brain Res Bull. 2010 Nov 20;83(6):374-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.08.011. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Polster B1, Crosier M, Lindsay S, Hayflick S.


Mutations in PLA2G6, which encodes calcium-independent phospholipase A(2) group VIA (iPLA2-VIA), underlie the autosomal recessive disorder infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD). INAD typically presents in the first year of life, and leads to optic atrophy and psychomotor regression. We have examined PLA2G6 expression in early human embryonic development by in situ hybridization. At Carnegie Stage (CS) 19 (approximately 7 post-conception weeks [PCW]), strong expression is evident in the ventricular zone (VZ) of midbrain and forebrain suggestive of expression in neural stem and progenitor cells. At CS23 (8PCW) expression is also detectable in the VZ of the hindbrain and the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the developing neocortex, ganglionic eminences and diencephalon. By 9PCW strong expression in the post-mitotic cells of the cortical plate can be seen in the developing neocortex. In the eye, expression is seen in the lens and retina at all stages examined. PLA2G6 expression is also evident in the alar plate of the spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, the retina and lens in the eye and several non-neuronal tissues, including developing bones, lung, kidney and gut. These findings suggest a role for PLA2G6 in neuronal proliferation throughout the developing brain and in maturing neurons in the cortical plate and hindbrain. Although widespread PLA2G6 expression is detected in neuronal tissues, the pattern shows dynamic changes with time and indicates that INAD pathogenesis may begin prior to birth. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID 20813170

MRC-Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource: enabling studies of human developmental gene expression

Trends Genet. 2005 Nov;21(11):586-90. Epub 2005 Sep 9.

Lindsay S1, Copp AJ. Author information


A striking finding of the human and mouse genome sequencing projects is that, although there are many differences between the two species, they have similar numbers of genes. The differences arise during development and are driven, in part, by changes in gene expression. The MRC-Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) is a unique resource that provides human embryonic and foetal tissues to the scientific community, enabling gene-expression studies at these crucial periods of development.

PMID 16154230

3 dimensional modelling of early human brain development using optical projection tomography

BMC Neurosci. 2004 Aug 6;5:27.

Kerwin J1, Scott M, Sharpe J, Puelles L, Robson SC, Martínez-de-la-Torre M, Ferran JL, Feng G, Baldock R, Strachan T, Davidson D, Lindsay S.


BACKGROUND: As development proceeds the human embryo attains an ever more complex three dimensional (3D) structure. Analyzing the gene expression patterns that underlie these changes and interpreting their significance depends on identifying the anatomical structures to which they map and following these patterns in developing 3D structures over time. The difficulty of this task greatly increases as more gene expression patterns are added, particularly in organs with complex 3D structures such as the brain. Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) is a new technology which has been developed for rapidly generating digital 3D models of intact specimens. We have assessed the resolution of unstained neuronal structures within a Carnegie Stage (CS)17 OPT model and tested its use as a framework onto which anatomical structures can be defined and gene expression data mapped. RESULTS: Resolution of the OPT models was assessed by comparison of digital sections with physical sections stained, either with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) or by immunocytochemistry for GAP43 or PAX6, to identify specific anatomical features. Despite the 3D models being of unstained tissue, peripheral nervous system structures from the trigeminal ganglion (approximately 300 microm by approximately 150 microm) to the rootlets of cranial nerve XII (approximately 20 microm in diameter) were clearly identifiable, as were structures in the developing neural tube such as the zona limitans intrathalamica (core is approximately 30 microm thick). Fourteen anatomical domains have been identified and visualised within the CS17 model. Two 3D gene expression domains, known to be defined by Pax6 expression in the mouse, were clearly visible when PAX6 data from 2D sections were mapped to the CS17 model. The feasibility of applying the OPT technology to all stages from CS12 to CS23, which encompasses the major period of organogenesis for the human developing central nervous system, was successfully demonstrated. CONCLUSION: In the CS17 model considerable detail is visible within the developing nervous system at a minimum resolution of approximately 20 microm and 3D anatomical and gene expression domains can be defined and visualised successfully. The OPT models and accompanying technologies for manipulating them provide a powerful approach to visualising and analysing gene expression and morphology during early human brain development.

PMID 15298700

Professor Susan Lindsay

Multiple Collections

Towards a 3-Dimensional Atlas of the Developing Human Embryo: the Amsterdam Experience

Reprod Toxicol. 2012 May 25. [Epub ahead of print]

de Bakker BS, de Jong KH, Hagoort J, Oostra RJ, Moorman AF. Source Department of Anatomy, Embryology & Physiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Knowledge of complex morphogenetic processes that occur during embryonic development is essential for understanding anatomy and to get insight in the pathogenesis of congenital malformations. Understanding these processes can be facilitated by using a three-dimensional (3D) developmental series of human embryos, which we aim to create in this project. Digital images of serial sections of 34 human embryos of the Carnegie Collection between Carnegie stages 7 (15-17d) and 23 (56-60d) are used to create 3D reconstructions of different organ systems. The software package Amira is used to align the sections and to create the 3D reconstructions. In this midway evaluation we show the first results of the atlas, containing 34 embryos with more than 13.500 manually annotated sections. The 3D models can be interactively viewed within a 3D-pdf. This will be the first complete digital 3D human embryology atlas of this size, containing all developing organ systems. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID 22640940

Serial sections of 34 human embryos between Carnegie stages 7 (15-17 days) and 23 (56-60 days) were used to create 3D reconstructions of all the different organs and organ systems. Two specimens per Carnegie stage were incorporated in this atlas. Digital images of a first series of sections from embryos of the Carnegie Collection and one embryo from the Cambridge University, were kindly provided by the Computer Imaging Laboratory of the Louisiana State University in New Orleans [26] and a stage 20 (51-53 days) embryo of our own collection was captured at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. Additional images of a second series of sections were captured at the Carnegie Collection at the Human Developmental Anatomy Center of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. and digital images of one stage 9 (19-20 days) embryo from the Boyd Collection were provided by the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Additional information about the specimens can be found in Table 1.

  • Elizabeth Lockett of the Human Developmental Anatomy Center at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, DC for our privilege to use the valuable material of the Carnegie Collection.
  • Professor Graham Burton for providing the digital images of a stage 9 embryo of the Boyd Collection.
  • Professor Robert J. Cork and Professor Raymond F. Gasser of the DREM project provide pictures of the first series of sections of human embryos of the Carnegie Collection.

Steding’s collection of human embryos

Centre of Anatomy, University of Goettingen, Germany



--Mark Hill (talk) 12:47, 3 May 2015 (AEST) This study cites the following French human embryo collections.

Developmental anatomy of the liver from computerized three-dimensional reconstructions of four human embryos (from Carnegie stage 14 to 23)

Ann Anat. 2015 Mar 20;200:105-113. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2015.02.012.

Lhuaire M1, Tonnelet R2, Renard Y3, Piardi T4, Sommacale D4, Duparc F5, Braun M2, Labrousse M6.


Some aspects of human embryogenesis and organogenesis remain unclear, especially concerning the development of the liver and its vasculature. The purpose of this study was to investigate, from a descriptive standpoint, the evolutionary morphogenesis of the human liver and its vasculature by computerized three-dimensional reconstructions of human embryos. Serial histological sections of four human embryos at successive stages of development belonging to three prestigious French historical collections were digitized and reconstructed in 3D using software commonly used in medical radiology. Manual segmentation of the hepatic anatomical regions of interest was performed section by section. In this study, human liver organogenesis was examined at Carnegie stages 14, 18, 21 and 23. Using a descriptive and an analytical method, we showed that these stages correspond to the implementation of the large hepatic vascular patterns (the portal system, the hepatic artery and the hepatic venous system) and the biliary system. To our knowledge, our work is the first descriptive morphological study using 3D computerized reconstructions from serial histological sections of the embryonic development of the human liver between Carnegie stages 14 and 23. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. PMID 25866917

Human embryonic larynx morphogenesis: three-dimensional and multiplanar study (918.26)

Marc Labrouse3, Romain Tonnelet5, Yohann Renard3, Emilien Micard1, Fabrice Duparc4, Vincent Delmas6 and Marc Braun2

1CIC-IT, CHU de Nancy Brabois NANCY France 2Department of Anatomy Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Nancy, Université de Lorraine Vandoeuvre les Nancy France 3Department of Anatomy Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Université de Reims REIMS France 4Department of Anatomy Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Université de Rouen, France ROUEN France 5IADI, INSERM U947, Université de Lorraine Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy France 6Department of Anatomy URDIA EA4465, Saints-Pères Faculty of Medicine, Université Paris Descartes PARIS France


The purpose of this study was to describe the human larynx embryology, using three-dimensional reconstructions from seven human embryos histological sections, and to compare our results with literature. Seven human embryos from two historic French collections (Paris-Descartes University's Delmas-Rouvière collection and Rouen University's Tardif collection) stained with hematoxylin & eosin or Masson's trichrome were reclassified according to the Carnegie Atlas criteria (CS (Carnegie stages) 17, 18, 19, 21 and 22). A local made computer software developed by IADI lab (INSERM U947, Nancy) allowed automatic slices selection, automatic rigid registration, and dust filtering. Once registration had been completed, DICOM files were used with ORS Visual software (v1.5, Montreal), which allowed multiple display and post-processing possibilities (3D VR; orthogonal/curved multiplanar reformation). Due to large size files, image processing was performed on PC with Windows 7 (64 bit) and 20 GB RAM. Three-dimensional and multiplanar study of the larynx morphogenesis was possible with appropriate thresholding. In the first stages of this study, the early laryngeal aditus was visible. Two posterior elevations, the arytenoid swellings, one anterior, the epiglottis, and the vocal folds were seen in the last stages. Human embryonic larynx morphogenesis works are very rare because of the smallness of this anatomical structure. Our study, using historic human embryos histological sections has shown the larynx growth. This demonstration was completely novel and had never been published previously, to our knowledge. Indeed, our method is fully respectful towards the microscopic structure unlike methods using Amira© segmentation and triangulation process. The precise knowledge of this morphogenesis will help to better understand congenital malformations.

Rouvière-Delmas Collection

  • The human embryos collection of the Laboratoire d'Anatomie of the UER Biomedicale des Saints-P6res, a collection
  • Since 1913 by Nicolas, Augier, Rouviere and Delmas
Rouvière-Delmas Collection
Human embryo Length (mm) Stain Section thickness (um) Plane
HE 97 3.5 Loyez Eosin 5 frontal
HE 180 3.5 Loyez 5 frontal
HE 75 5 - 6 Loyez 5 frontal
HE 198 8 Trichrom Loyez van Campenhout 5 sagittal
HE 92 8 Trichrom 5 frontal
HE 44 8 5 frontal
HE 79 10 Loyez 10 frontal
HE 164 10 Loyez 10 frontal
HE 177 12 Loyez 5 sagittal
HE 173 14 Trichrom Loyez 5 sagittal
HE 190 14 Loyez 5 frontal
HE 108 15 Loyez 10 sagittal
HE 68 16 Loyez 10 sagittal
HE 208 21 5 transverse
HE 147 22 Trichrom 10 sagittal
R1 23.5 10 sagittal
HE 16 25 Trichrom 10 transverse
S1 27 Eosin 10 transverse
R2 31 HES 10 transverse
S2 37 HES 10 transverse

Virtual Anatomy Unit

  • Dr. Jean-François UHL - (surgeon)
  • Prof. Vincent Delmas -

Human embryos in the Anatomy department of Saints-Pères of the University René Descartes Paris V. Transverse serial histological sections of 10 􏰁micron thickness of the whole embryo from the vertex to the coccyx. Each embryo was stained using Masson’s trichrome.

Google Translate - "The museum, known since 1847 under the name Orfila museum, is a set of rich collections and bringing together human and animal anatomical preparations, reconstruction of embryological and neuroanatomical, anthropological pieces, various brains castings origins, prepared, assembled or collected for nearly two centuries by a succession of museum curators. The importance, variety and quality of these materials far exceed the interest that had the Orfila Street museum housed the School of Medicine. The current museum occupies since 1953 the vast exhibition halls and galleries of the eighth floor of the Faculty of Medicine of the Rue des Saints-Peres."

2011 Virtual Anatomy - MSBM 2000-01 (

11 students: Alexandre RADOVANOVIC, Vincent ESTRADE Mustapha AZZOUZ, Marc-Antoine Rousseau, Olivier CHATAIGNER, Sassia bedda, Thao SOURIGNAVONG, FI RANDRIANARIMALA Philippe Rapp, Alexandra DERVIN Ayman BOUATTOUR.

1- Construction of a 3D anatomical model for the first renal lodge by lumboscopy (Vincent Estrade, Jean-François UHL, V. Delmas) 2 Morphometry kidney during embryogenesis (69 mm embryo) Thao SOURIGNAVONG 3- kidney morphometry during embryogenesis (6 mm embryo) FI RANDRIANARIMALA 4- kidney morphometry during embryogenesis (embryo 22mm) Philippe RAPP 5- kidney morphometry during embryogenesis (embryo 42 mm) Alexander RADOVANOVIC 6- Morphometry kidney during embryogenesis (embryo 17 mm) Mustafa AZZOUZ 7- Morphometry kidney during embryogenesis (embryo 14 mm) Alexandra DERVIN 8- Reconstruction 3D lateral ventricles and choroids plexus. Ayman BOUATTOUR


A study in organogenesis: the arterial supply of the anorectal region in the human embryo and fetus. Anatomic and embryologic bases of anorectal malformations.

Surg Radiol Anat. 1988;10(1):37-51.

Bourdelat D1, Labbé F, Pillet J, Delmas P, Hidden G, Hureau J.


The development of the anorectal region is based on differentiation of the terminal portion of the hindgut. The origin of anorectal malformations is still unknown but seems to occur very early in the embryologic period. To gain a better understanding of their development, a study of the arterial supply of the anorectal region was made in 26 embryos and 50 fetuses. PMID 3131897

  • 30-day embryo (CR length 5 mm) a transverse septum, the urorectal septum, descends in a caudal direction and divides the cloaca into 2 parts, 1 anterior, the primitive urogenital sinus, the other posterior, the anorectal canal.
  • 6 weeks the cloaca is partitioned, the eloacal membrane being transformed into a urogenital mem- brane in front and an anal membrane behind. The anal membrane becomes surrounded by mesenchyme and is situated at the base of an ectodermal depression, the proctodeum. Invagination of the proctodeum into the hindgut leads to rupture of the anal membrane.
  • ascularization of the anorectum - 2 distinct origins. One is alimentary represented by the superior rectal artery, which supplies the upper rectum. The other is parietal, represented by the median sacral artery in the embryo; its development is less after the phenomenon of caudal regression, with the progressive appearance of the medial and inferior rectal arteries which supply the perineal rectum. The umbilical artery is to the upper rectum what the median sacral artery is to the lower rectum.

DELMAS André. Le Musée Orfila et le Musée Rouvière. In : PECKER André. La Médecine à Paris du XIIIè au XXè siècle.Paris, Editions Hervas, Fondation SINGER-POLIGNAC, 1984, pp 289-294.

Tardif Collection

Human embryos in the Anatomy department of the University of Rouen. Transverse serial histological sections of 10 􏰁micron thickness of the whole embryo from the vertex to the coccyx. Each embryo was stained using Masson’s trichrome.

Pillet Collection

Human embryos in the Anatomy department of the University of Angers. Transverse serial histological sections of 10 􏰁micron thickness of the whole embryo from the vertex to the coccyx. Each embryo was stained using Masson’s trichrome.

  • HE 5 mm (crown-rump): scale x 220 (Pillet J (1969) Reconstruction des organes pelviens d'un embryon de 5 mm (Stade XV de Streeter). CR Assoc Anat 54 : 705-715)
  • HE 7.5 mm (crown-rump): scale x 220 (Pillet J (1967) Reconstruction d'un embryon humain de 7,5 mm (Stare XVI, de Streeter) CR Assoc Anat 52 : 1013-1023)
  • HE 12.5 mm (crown-rump): scale x 100 (Pillet J (1966) Reconstruction des organes pelviens d'embryons humains de 12,5 mm et 25 mm. CR Assoc Anat 51 : 819-827)
  • HE 25 mm (crown-rump): scale x 100 (Pillet J (1966) Reconstruction des organes pelviens d'embryons humains de 12,5 mm et 25 mm. CR Assoc Anat 51 : 819-827)

Carnegie - Developmental stages in human embryos (1987) p306

Pillet, J. 1966. Reconstruction des organes pelviens d'embryons humains de 12,5 et de 25 mm. (Reconstruction of the pelvic organs of human embryos 12.5 and 25 mm.) Bull. Ass. Anat., 51, 819-827.

Pillet, J. 1968. Reconstruction du pelvis d'un embryon humain de 7,5 mm (stade XVI de Streeter). C.R. Ass. Anat., 52, 1013-1023.

Bulletin de L'Association des Anatomistes (Nancy) French Quarterly (every three months)

UMAC Worldwide Database of University Museums & Collections

Museum of Anatomy and Human Embryology

Musée d'anatomie et d'embryologie humaines

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium, Europe

Faculté de Médecine, bâtiment G, niveau 2, route de Lennik 808, 1070 Bruxelles

Opening Hours: By appointment only.

Contact: Mme C. Tilmant Phone: +32(0)2 555 63 76 Fax: +32(0)2 555 63 78


Musée d'anatomie et d'embryologie humaines Université Libre de Bruxelles

Description: The Museum presents anatomical preparations from the Faculty of Medicine covering several aspects of human anatomy, as well as a collection of embryos and foetuses. The Museum holds also a collection of ostheological pathologies.

Collection of Histology & Embryology- University of Pavia=

Collezione di Istologia e embriologia- Università di Pavia

University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, Europe

Museum or Collection Type: Medicine Institutional Type: Collection Subject: Embryology, Histology Address: Collection di Istologia ed Embriologia, Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale, Sezione di Istologia ed Embriologia generale, via Forlanini, 10 - Pavia- ITALY

Opening Hours: The collection is closed to the public. Those with a research interest in the collection may visit by appointment.

Contact: Prof. Alberto Calligaro Phone: +39 (0)382987273 Links:

Collezione di Istologia e embriologia- Università di Pavia

Collection di Istologia ed Embriologia Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale Sezione di Istologia ed Embriologia generale, via Forlanini, 10 - Pavia Tel. +39.0382.987273 e-mail. alberto.calligaro (at)

University of Pavia


The collection is built from materials prepared in the past for teaching and research in the Histology and Embryology section of the Medical faculty and includes: slides, consisting of histological sections of various tissues and organs, which date mostly from the first half of the twentieth century, wax embryological models and preparations from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, microscopes and other instruments dating to the first half of the twentieth century.

Collection: 10.000 items

Museum of Anatomy - Leiden University

Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands, Europe

Museum of Anatomy, University Medical Center/University Hospital

Museum or Collection Type: Medicine Institutional Type: Museum Subject: Anatomy, Embryology, Forensic Medicine, History of Medicine, Medicine, Osteology Opening Hours: By appointment

Links: Leiden University

Description: 5,000 anatomical specimens; 4.700 embryological specimens; 4,300 pathological specimens; 3,000 neuroanatomical specimens; 100 parasitological specimens; 5,000 microscopical embryological and 15,000 neuroanatomical specimens; extensive optometry collection. Further Reading: Dam, Andries J. van 2000. The interactions of preservative fluid, specimen container, and sealant in a fluid collection. Collection Forum 14 (1-2): 78-92.

Dam, Andries J. van 2000. The warping and cracking of Plexiglas™ specimen containers . Collection Forum 14 (1-2): 47-56.

Mulder, W. J. (ed.) Guide to the Museum of Anatomy and Embryology of the Leiden University. Anatomical Embryologycal Laboratory, Leiden.

Anonymous 2000. Leidse anatomie in Museum Boerhaave. Museum Boerhaave, Leiden.

Medical Museum Copenhagen

Medicinsk Museion Medical Museion

Museum or Collection Type: Medicine Institutional Type: Museum Subject: Anaesthesiology, Anatomy, Dentistry, Dermatology, Embryology, Endoscopy, Histology, History of Health Care, History of Medicine, History of Pharmacy, Medicine, Medicine Technology, Microbiology, Microscopy, Nursing Science, Obstetrics, Odontology Address: Fredericiagade 18, DK-1310 Copenhagen K (administration, collections and staff),, Bredgade 62, DK-1260 Copenhagen K (exhibitions)

Opening Hours: Wed, Thu, Fri and Sun 13-17h For more detailed information, see http://

Contact: Head of Collections, Ion Meyer Phone: +4535323804 Fax: +4535323816

Additional information: For questions about research and teaching, please contact the Director of Medical Museion, Prof. Thomas Söderqvist, For questions about public access, please contact public outreach officer Bente Vinge Pedersen, For questions about exhibitions, please contact Head of Exhibitions, Camilla Mordhorst, Online: Biomedicine on Display: Museionblog:

Links: Medicinsk Museion University of Copenhagen

Description: Medical Museion is a department at the University of Copenhagen that integrates research, teaching, collections and exhibitions.

The collections contain approx. 200.000 items, including ophtalmological, odontological, radiological, surgical, etc. instruments, a large pharmaceutical collection, an anatomical (+ teratological) and an obstetric/gynaecological collection, and a paleoosteological collection (medieval leprosy skeletons).

In addition the department has a rare book collection and an archive.

Virtual Microscopy

Open Access Software

Google Earth

Virtual microscopy with Google-Earth: a step in the way for compatibility


  • OpenLayers makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page. It can display map tiles and markers loaded from any source.


Used on BEST network.

The Open Microscopy Environment


Links: Talk:Embryo Virtual Slides

Virtual microscopy with Google-Earth: a step in the way for compatibility

NYU Virtual Microscope

The NYU Virtual Microscope uses the Google Maps API to display, annotate, and navigate scanned slides.


Appears to have died.

Commercial software

Leica (Aperio)

SOMS UNSW Aperio ScanScope XT Slide Scanner




  • PathScan Enabler IV ($2,195.00)
    • 7200 dpi resolution, 3.5 microns per pixel
    • scanner scans an area of 1.42 x 0.85 inches (36.14 x 21.59 mm)
    • resulting in useable images up to 10,248 x 6,120 pixels, uninterpolated.
    • File size can be as large as 188 megabytes.
    • Produces image files which can be saved in a variety of formats including TIFF, PICT, BMP, GIF, etc. Compatible with PC Windows based computers.


  • restriction of jpg files to a maximum size of 65,000 pixels (216)