Eggs, not just for breakfast

The current project that I'm working on is a chicken based model for angiogenesis called CAM (Chorioallantoic Membrane).

It's pretty simple. You buy fertilized eggs, place them in an incubator for a few days, then crack the eggs and add the contents to petri dishes. At this point they've been warm for 3 days and you can start to see some chick development but it's only a wee small thing. Several days later we add drug to some of the petri dishes--right on the yolk--and don't add the drug to the rest so as to have controls. Several days later you compare the controls to the drug added yolks and use that information to determine if the drug affects angiogenesis.

It's a great system because the affect is easily visible and it's fast. Chicks take 21 days to develop from initial fertilization to hatching and we use the eggs for the 3 day to around the 10 day part of that cycle.

I started writing this at 3pm and now it's after midnight. This working for a living is really cramping my posting on here.

Anyway, this CAM assay allows for quick screening of compounds that might have angiogenic qualities. In cancer research you want to stop or slow angiogenesis since cancer tumors need the blood vessel growth to get bigger. On the other hand, cardiologists want drugs that increase angiogenesis since that's the way to heal injured blood vessels. Since I work in a cardiology lab for a cancer surgeon I get to have it both ways. Any change in angiogenesis will work just fine. Too bad most compounds don't affect angiogenesis...


GA Girl said…
Lookin' yummy ;)

If you do find an active compound it would be wonderful.
Belinda said…
Dave, I'm so glad you shared this! Way more interesting than my typical work day, for sure.
alvil18 said…
Good afternoon, I am Alvaro, I write from Rosario, Argentina, more precisely from IFISE (Institute of Experimental Physiology). I am Biochemist and I am doing a PhD in Biological Sciences and for my Doctoral Thesis I am trying to perform the Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) Assay, which you described in a post in 2007 in UTENZI. It has not been possible because the chicken embryos is not survive inside the petri dish after breaking the shell. Could you give me some advice? From already thank you very much. regards
utenzi said…
We used a lot of eggs. Often more than a hundred to get enough embryos to survive for an experiment. I suspect that if one used something to cut the top of the egg off the survival rate would improve quite a bit but we broke the eggs in the normal way and that resulted in a lot of damaged embryos.

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