We present a detailed description of an adaptive harmonic generation (HG) microscope and culture techniques that permit long-term, three-dimensional imaging of mouse embryos. HG signal from both pre- and postimplantation stage (0.5-5.5 day-old) mouse embryos are fully characterized. The second HG images reveal central spindles during cytokinesis whereas third HG images show several features, such as lipid droplets, nucleoli, and plasma membranes. The embryos are found to develop normally during one-day-long discontinuous HG imaging, permitting the observation of several dynamic events, such as morula compaction and blastocyst formation.
J Biomed Opt
Animals, Blastocyst, Embryo Culture Techniques, Embryo, Mammalian, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Lasers, Mice, Microscopy, Morula, Temperature, Time Factors, Time-Lapse Imaging