A motion-sensitive en-face-scanning 3-D optical coherence microscope (OCM) has been designed and constructed to study critical events in the early development of plants and animals. We describe the OCM instrument and present time-lapse movies of frog gastrulation, an early developmental event in which three distinct tissue layers are established that later give rise to all major organ systems. OCM images constructed with fringe-amplitude data show the mesendoderm migrating up along the blastocoel roof, thus forming the inner two tissue layers. Motion-sigma data, measuring the random motion of scatterers, is used to construct complementary images that indicate the presence of Brownian motion in the yolk cells of the endoderm. This random motion provides additional intrinsic contrast that helps to distinguish different tissue types. Depth penetration at 850 nm is sufficient for studies of the outer ectoderm layer, but is not quite adequate for detailed study of the blastocoel floor, about 500 to 800 mum deep into the embryo. However, we measure the optical attenuation of these embryos to be about 35% less at 1310 nm. 2-D OCT images at 1310 nm are presented that promise sufficient depth penetration to test current models of cell movement near the blastocoel floor during gastrulation.
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Haskell, R.C., M.E. Williams, D.C. Petersen, B.M. Hoeling, A.J. Schile, J.D. Pennington, M.G. Seetin, J.M. Castelaz, S.E. Fraser, C. Papan, H. Ren, J.F. de Boer, and Z. Chen. "Visualizing early frog development with motion-sensitive 3-D optical coherence microscopy." Proceedings of the 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Vol. 2 (2004): 5296-5299.