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The Netherlands has created a 3D atlas of embryonic development

3D атлас эмбрионального развития

An embryo (ancient Greek) or embryo is an early stage in the development of an animal and a person, starting from a fertilized egg ( zygote ). Embryonic development, which usually occurs in the egg membranes or special organs of the mother's body, ends with the emergence of the ability to self-feed and active movement.

The Netherlands scientists created a three-dimensional atlas of prenatal human development in the first two months after conception . Reports about it 3D Embryology .

Embryonic development

Human embryo. Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (ca. 1510-1513)
Human embryo. Drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (ca. 1510-1513)

Germinal, or fetal, development of a living organism occurs either in the egg membranes outside the mother's body, or inside it.

In the course of this development, a multicellular organism arises from the egg, consisting of various organs and tissues, which is capable of independent existence. In all animals, embryonic development includes fertilization of the egg or, in the case of parthenogenesis, its activation, followed by crushing, gastrulation, organogenesis with subsequent release from the egg membranes or birth.

Fertilization takes place either in the mother’s body or in the aquatic environment. Fertilization is followed by crushing the eggs, during which it is consistently and repeatedly divided into blastomeres - first large, and then smaller and smaller cells. As a result, there is a multicellular organism - blastula. The chain of divisions of fragmentation creates prerequisites for the emergence of differentiation, that is, differences between parts of the embryo. Primary differentiation is caused by the unequal composition of the cytoplasm of cells originating from different parts of the egg. The ability of embryonic cells to move is also important for the formation of organs of an adult organism.

At the stage of gastrulation, germinal layers are separated, and as a result, a three-layer structure arises - the ectoderm (outer layer), the endoderm (inner layer), mesoderm (intermediate layer).

Although in the early stages of development, embryonic cells can develop in different directions, under the influence of a number of factors they are gradually determined (they acquire the ability to develop in only one particular direction).

At the stage of organogenesis, which is mainly provided by a variety of cell movements and differentiation of the cells themselves, the germ layers are divided into the primordia of organs and systems, during which the large rudiments differentiate into smaller ones and as a result an increasingly complex structure of the whole organism . For example, from the part of the ectoderm that forms the bud of the nervous system, the brain stands out. From the latter, the rudiments of the eyes are isolated, in which the retina stands out, and in it specialized visual cells — sticks and cones — differentiate. The embryonic development of various groups of animals takes place unequally: a large yolk sac is formed in fish embryos, the yolk sac and special organs are characteristic of allantois and amnion, and in addition to mammals, the trophoblast and placenta are characteristic of birds.

3D atlas of embryonic development

Scientists at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam identified and labeled 150 structures and organs of the body of the embryo, and then reconstructed their three-dimensional computer models.

The research results were grouped into a single atlas of embryo development from 15-17 to 56-60 days after conception.

All models were classified according to stages of development and turned into an interactive 3D-PDF format, which is freely available.

3D атлас эмбрионального развития

You can download models from the project site. The level of development of the embryo is distributed in stages, by going to which you can see the model and its individual parts.

3D атлас эмбрионального развития

Atlas allows us to consider both the embryo as a whole and its individual structures, organs and systems.

3D атлас эмбрионального развития

For a more complete understanding, scientists have indicated the size of the embryo in millimeters and compared with the palm of an adult.

As noted, the work on the creation of the atlas has been conducted since 2009. A group of embryologists took part in it with the assistance of 75 students.


3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 7 (15-17 days) Specimen 8752
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 8 (17-19 days) Specimen 8671
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 9 (19-21 days) Specimen H712
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 10 (21-23 days) Specimen 6330
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 11 (23-26 days) Specimen 6784
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 12 (26-30 days) Specimen 8505A
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 13 (28-32 days) Specimen 836
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 15 (35-38 days) Specimen 3512
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 16 (37-42 days) Specimen 6517
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 17 (42-44 days) Specimen 6521
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 18 (44-48 days) Specimen 6524
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 20 (51-53 days) Specimen 462
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 21 (53-54 days) Specimen 7254
3D atlas of embryonic development
Stage 23 (56-60 days) Specimen 9226

3D Atlas of Human Embryology - data

3D атлас эмбрионального развития

This website is for downloading data from the 3D Atlas.

This is a collection of micrographs of the cartagie.

3D-PDF files: Download the Adobe Reader X (or newer) on MS Windows or Mac OS for 3D interaction.

Stage specimen 3D reconstruction 3D tiffs Amira files
3D.pdf grey.tif labels.tif
CS07-8752 3DAtlas_CS07-8752-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS07-8752-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS07-8752-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS08-8671 3DAtlas_CS08-8671-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS08_8671-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS08_8671-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS09-H712 3DAtlas_CS09-H712-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS09-H712-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS09-H712-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS10-6330 3DAtlas_CS10-6330-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS10-6330-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS10-6330-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS11-6784 3DAtlas_CS11-6784-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS11-6784-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS11-6784-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS12-8505A 3DAtlas_CS12-8505A-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS12-8505A-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS12-8505A-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS13-836 3DAtlas_CS13-836-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS13-836-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS13-836-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS15-3512 3DAtlas_CS15-3512-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS15-3512-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS15-3512-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS16-6517 3DAtlas_CS16-6517-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS16-6517-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS16-6517-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS17-6521 3DAtlas_CS17-6521-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS17-6521-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS17-6521-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS18-6524 3DAtlas_CS18-6524-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS18-6524-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS18-6524-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS20-462 3DAtlas_CS20-462-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS20-462-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS20-462-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS21-7254 3DAtlas_CS21-7254-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS21-7254-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS21-7254-labels-v2016-01.tif
CS23-9226 3DAtlas_CS23-9226-v2016-03.pdf 3DAtlas_CS23-9226-gray-v2016-01.tif 3DAtlas_CS23-9226-labels-v2016-01.tif

3D-pdf files: Download Adobe Reader X (or newer) on MS Windows or Mac OS for 3D interaction.

3D tiff files: IrfanView tiff files. Use CTRL + PageDown / PageUp for scrolling trough the gray and label stack.

Amira files: Use Amira files for the use of the gray and label files. The label files also contain the label names.

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