Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 580–586

Noncontact measurements of avian embryo heart rate by means of the laser speckle: comparison with contact measurements

  • H. Tazawa
  • T. Hiraguchi
  • T. Asakura
  • H. Fujii
  • G. C. Whittow


A new, noncontact system for measuring the heart rate of avian embryos in the egg has been developed using a laser speckle phenomenon. The system was based upon detection of egg movements attributable to cardiac contractions of the embryo by measuring the intensity fluctuation of speckle produced in the proximity of the egg under laser light illumination (i.e. noncontact measurement). The applicability of the noncontact system to determine the heart rate of developing chick embryos was examined simultaneously with a contact system employing an audio cartridge. Both systems were found to be feasible in determining the heart rate of embryos during the late prenatal and paranatal stages. With the aid of adeques signal processing, the measurement of cardiogenic movements of the egg can be used to count the heart rate during the middle stages of incubation.

Key words

Ballistic movement Contact and noncontact measurements Developing chick embryos Electrocardiogram Fibre probe Laser Noninvasive measurement 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Asakura, T. andTakai, N. (1981) Dynamic laser speckles and their application to velocity measurement of the diffusive object.Appl. Phys.,25, 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cain, J. R., Abbott, U. K. andRogallo, V. L. (1967) Heart rate of the developing chick embryo.Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med.,126, 507–510.Google Scholar
  3. Dawes, C. M. (1975) The effects of carbon dioxide on the respiratory movements of the hatching chick.Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,52A, 291–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dawes, C. M. (1976) A method for recording the respiratory and hatching movements of the chick embryo.J. Exp. Biol.,64, 379–383.Google Scholar
  5. Fujii, H., Asakura, T., Nohira, K., Shintomi, Y. andOhura, T. (1985) Blood flow observed by time-varying laser speckle.Opt. Lett.,10, 104–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hamburger, V. andOppenheim, R. (1967) Prehatching motility and hatching behavior in the chick.J. Exp. Zool.,166, 171–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hughes, A. F. W. (1949) The heart output of the chick embryo.J. R. Microsc. Soc.,69, 145–152.Google Scholar
  8. Kovach, J. K. (1970) Development and mechanisms of behavior in the chick embryo during the last five days of incubation.J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol.,73, 392–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kovach, J. K., Callies, D. andHartzell, R. (1970) Procedures for the study of behavior in avian embryos.Devel. Psychobiol.,3, 169–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Laughlin, K. F., Lundy, H. andTait, J. A. (1976) Chick embryo heart rate during the last week of incubation: population studies.Br. Poult. Sci.,17, 293–301.Google Scholar
  11. Laughlin, K. F. (1978) The effects of restricted gas exchange on embryonic heart rate. InRespiratory function in birds, adult and embryonic.Piiper, J. (Ed.), Springer, 298–303.Google Scholar
  12. Nair, G. andDawes, C. M. (1980) The effects of cooling the egg on the respiratory movements of the hatching quail (Coturnix c. japonica).Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,67A, 589–592.Google Scholar
  13. Ockleford, E. M. andVince, M. A. (1977) Heart rate response to light in the embryo of the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix).J. Exp. Zool.,201, 439–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Olszowka, A. J., Tazawa, H. andRahn, H. (1988) A blood-gas nomogram of the chick fetus: Blood flow distribution between the chorioallantois and fetus.Respirat. Physiol. 71, 315–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Petry, H. andWittmann, J. (1978) A new method for recording spontaneous activity of chicken embryos in intact eggs.Poult. Sci.,57, 1466–1467.Google Scholar
  16. Piiper, J., Tazawa, H., Ar, A. andRahn, H. (1980) Analysis of chorioallantoic gas exchange in the chick embryo.Respirat. Physiol.,39, 273–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rahn, H., Matalon, M. S. andSotherland, P. R. (1985) Circulatory changes and oxygen delivery in the chick embryo prior to hatching. InCardiovascular shunts. Phylogenetic, ontogenetic and clinical aspects.Johansen, K. andBurggren, W. (Eds.), Munksgaard, 199–211.Google Scholar
  18. Romijn, C. (1948) Respiratory movements of the chicken during the parafoetal period.Physiol. Comp. Oecol.,1, 24–28.Google Scholar
  19. Salter, S. H. (1966) A note on the recording of egg activity.Anim. Behav.,14, 41–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Suzuki, Y., Musashi, H. andTazawa, H. (1989) Noninvasive heart rate monitoring system for avian embryos based on ballistocardiogram.Med & Biol. Eng. & Comput,27, 399–404.Google Scholar
  21. Takai, N. andAsakura, T. (1978) Dynamic statistical properties of vibrating laser speckle in the diffraction field.Appl. Opt.,17, 3785–3793.Google Scholar
  22. Tazawa, H., Ar, A., Rahn, H. andPiiper, J. (1980) Repetitive and simultaneous sampling from the air cell and blood vessels in the chick embryo.Respirat. Physiol.,39, 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tazawa, H., Piiper, J., Ar, A. andRahn, H. (1981) Changes in acid-base balance of chick embryos exposed to a He and SF6 atmosphere.J. Appl. Physiol.,50, 819–823.Google Scholar
  24. Tazawa, H. (1981a) Effect of O2 and CO2 in N2 He and SF6 on chick embryo blood pressure and heart rate.,51, 1017–1022.Google Scholar
  25. Tazawa, H. (1981b) Measurement of blood pressure of chick embryo with an implanted needle catheter.,51, 1023–1026.Google Scholar
  26. Tazawa, H. (1982) Regulatory processes of metabolic and respiratory acid-base disturbances in embryos.,53, 1449–1454.Google Scholar
  27. Tazawa, H. andNakagawa, S. (1985) Response of egg temperature, heart rate and blood pressure in the chick embryo to hypothermal stress.J. Comp. Physiol.,155B, 195–200.Google Scholar
  28. Tazawa, H., Lomholt, J. P. andJohansen, J. (1985) Direct measurement of allantoic blood flow in the chicken,Gallus domesticus. Reponses to alteration in ambient temperature and Po2.Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,81A, 641–642.Google Scholar
  29. Tazawa, H. andTakenaka, H. (1985) Cardiovascular shunt and model analysis in the chick embryo. InCardiovascular shunts. Phylogenetic, ontogenetic and clinical aspects.Johansen, J. andBurggren, W. (Eds.), Munksgaard, 178–198.Google Scholar
  30. Tozawa, H. andRahn, H. (1986) Tolerance of chick embryos to low temperatures in reference to the heart rate.Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,85A, 531–534.Google Scholar
  31. Tazawa, H. andJohansen, K. (1987) Comparative model analysis of central shunts in vertebrate cardiovascular systems.,86A, 595–607.Google Scholar
  32. Tazawa, H., Suzuki, Y. andMusashi, H. (1989) Simultaneous acquisition of ECG, BCG and blood pressure from chick embryos in the egg.J. Appl. Physiol., (in press).Google Scholar
  33. Tolhurst, B. E. andVince, M. A. (1976) Sensitivity to odours in the embryo of the domestic fowl.Anim. Behav.,24, 772–779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vince, M. A. andSalter, S. H. (1967) Respiration and clicking in quail embryos.Nature,216, 582–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vince, M., Misson, B. H. andFreeman, B. M. (1975) Blood gas partial pressures and the onset of lung ventilation in the chick embryo.Comp. Biochem. Physiol.,51A, 457–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wittmann, J., Kugler, W. andPetry, H. (1983) Motility pattern and lung respiration of embryonic chicks under the influence of L-thyroxine and thiourea.,75A, 379–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFMBE 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Tazawa
    • 1
  • T. Hiraguchi
    • 1
  • T. Asakura
    • 2
  • H. Fujii
    • 2
  • G. C. Whittow
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Electronic EngineeringMuroran Institute of TechnologyMuroranJapan
  2. 2.Research Institute of Applied ElectricityHokkaido UniversitySapporo 060, HokkaidoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of HaweiiHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations