iWorx has many partners who use our systems for their academic and scientific research. One such project has been the research into the QT Segments of ECG using chick embryos.
The embryonic chicken shares the same basic mechanics of cardiac electrophysiology with mammalian hearts. Using chick embryos makes it possible to learn about the cardiac repolarization process during embryo growth. Using the QT interval as the main cardiac feature one can determine if cardiac functionality is dependent on the stage of embryonic development.
ECGs are recorded from fertilized chicken eggs over a multiple day period starting at day 13 and generally going to at least day 18. Eggs need to be kept in an incubator with a temperature appropriate for continued development (37.4°C). The position of the embryo is confirmed prior to electrode placement by setting the egg against strong light source. Needle electrodes are implanted through the shell without touching the embryo. The shell is sealed with acrylic cement, leaving the electrodes in place. An ECG was recorded daily for a minimum of 5 minutes. Heart rate and QT interval are recorded and mean values calculated.
Research has shown that in chick embryos the repolarization process changes during development. This feature makes using the chick embryo for the study of the QT interval at different stages of embryonic development a valid method for determination of drug effects on the cardiac system.
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