The Visible Embryo

August 1st, 1991 - August 1st, 1992

Categories: Applications, Virtual Medicine


A project is described (The Visible Embryo Project) to develop software strategies for the creation of large-scale databases of 3-dimensional image data on human developmental anatomy. The issues discussed relate to the processing of serial-section image data for the purpose of reconstruction volumetric medels of individual embryos from museum specimens. Attempts were made to fully automate the processes of image registration and artifact correction, in order to allow for the eventual unattended reconstruction of thousands of such embryos from such resources as the Carnegie Collection of Human Embryology. Tools were developed to allow the real-time interactive visualization of the massive databases that this type of reconstruction project creates. The implementation of a 3-D model of a human embryo in a viewer-centric virtual reality emvironment is also described.

“The Visible Embryo” premiered at the Showcase exhibit at SIGGRAPH 92, Chicago.