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Keywords:

  • chorioallantoic membrane;
  • angiogenesis;
  • hypercapnia;
  • chicken embryo

Abstract

Over the last decade, the poultry sector has sought to develop novel ways to monitor chicken embryonic growth, health, and quality to control and optimize egg incubation conditions, particularly the concentration of dissolved gasses (O2, CO2). One of the parameters, which may change under different gas concentrations, is the angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), the organ for gas exchange of the chicken embryo. In this study, a newly developed methodology was used to quantify the angiogenesis in the CAM under normal and early hypercapnic conditions (i.e., increased CO2 concentrations). Two experiments were conducted in which the same CO2 profile was applied. The development of the vascular system was monitored from embryonic day (ED) 10 until ED 14 in Experiment 1, and until ED 16 in Experiment 2. This development was characterized by two different parameters—the vascular fraction (VF) as a measure for the density of the vascular network and the fractal dimension (FD) as a measure for the degree of branching of the vascular network. Moreover, in Experiment 2, embryo weights were compared between both groups. The proposed methodology showed that differences in the development of the vascular system could be observed across groups but also as function of the ED. Both VF and FD and the embryo weights were shown to be higher in the hypercapnia group compared to the control group. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011