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Uterus Cavity – Embryo Folding, Embryonic Cavities and Placenta

by John McLachlan, PhD
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    00:01 at one side of the external structure. Now, let’s step back another layer and we’ll look at it in the context of the uterus. Here, we’re looking at a view, a section through the mother from the side looking at the uterus, and you can see how the whole developing structure is beginning to project into the uterine cavity. And as the amniotic cavity gets larger and larger, obliterates all the other spaces, gradually, it will come to almost completely fill the uterus. So at later stages, the amniotic cavity is almost completely occupying all of that space projecting into the uterine cavity, until finally, it’s almost completely excluded, all the other species are excluded by this amniotic cavity developing on the yolk side. The structures we should derive from the mother remain as called the “chorion”. So these are described as the chorion. So the amnion is meeting the chorion and forming a fused membrane once all the space is eliminated.

    01:02 The area where the villi is concentrated is called the “chorion frondosum”, and the remaining smooth part is called the “chorion laeve”. You can see in this late picture, five months into the pregnancy, all of the space is taken up by the amniotic cavity, the amniotic fluid, and the baby within that. So for the baby to get out, it exits down through the cervix, then what’s going to happen is it has to rupture those membranes that lie between it and the outside world. Of course, these chorionic villi, you can sample them. The ones which are going to disappear are obviously not important for our survival.

    01:47 So you can insert a needle and take a sample of the chorionic villi, and then analyze them for genetic defects. And that’s called “chorionic villus sampling”. It is in itself a slightly risky procedure, and therefore, slightly safer to take a little piece of the amniotic fluid.

    02:07 So again, you can insert a needle in, draw off some amniotic fluid, not only analyze the biochemical composition of the amniotic fluid, but you can also look for embryo cells that have been shed into the amniotic fluid. These can be cultured, and again, examined for genetic defects. Now, the things that we were looking at are


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Uterus Cavity – Embryo Folding, Embryonic Cavities and Placenta by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course Embryology: Early Stages with John McLachlan.


    Author of lecture Uterus Cavity – Embryo Folding, Embryonic Cavities and Placenta

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD


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