Anatomical Science International

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 299–303 | Cite as

The possibilities of studying human embryos and foetuses using micro-CT: a technical note

  • Kateřina Vymazalová
  • Lenka Vargová
  • Tomáš Zikmund
  • Jozef Kaiser
Method Paper


The purpose of the study was to discover a way to study the internal structure and evolution of human embryos noninvasively. The human embryo was stained with phosphotungstic acid solution (PTA) in ethanol (EPTA) and scanned using a micro computed tomography (micro-CT) scanner. Using appropriate software, a three-dimensional image of the embryo was created, which could be further exploited. The methodology described could be used for the non-destructive examination of the internal structure of the human embryo, and the resulting data can be used as a resource for medical students, gynaecologists, and paediatricians.


Micro-CT Human embryo Phosphotungstic acid Staining 



This work was supported by the project “CEITEC-Central European Institute of Technology” (CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0068) from the European Regional Development Fund. We acknowledge the support of Brno University of Technology on the frame of Grant FSI-S-14-2494 (Application of Advanced Optical Methods). We thank Ms. Jiřina Menšíková and Ms. Tessa Bell for their skilful assistance. The authors gratefully thank the individuals who donated their body to the Department of Anatomy.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kateřina Vymazalová
    • 1
  • Lenka Vargová
    • 1
  • Tomáš Zikmund
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jozef Kaiser
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Anthropology, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineMasaryk University BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.CEITEC BUT-Central European Institute of TechnologyBrno University of TechnologyBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringBrno University of TechnologyBrnoCzech Republic

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