Preimplantation mouse development

Preimplantation development is key to mammalian pregnancy success. About 70% of pregnancies fail during the first few days before the embryo is ready for implantation. Understanding the underlying processes will help to identify approaches that increase the success rates of pregnancies. During the pre-implantation phase, the fertilized oocyte divides several times to separate into three distinct populations of cells that will give rise to the embryo proper, the placenta and the yolk sac cells.

In this project, we investigate the complex and highly dynamic process of cell decision and cell pattering in the preimplantation embryo. We use an interdisciplinary approach combining cell biology, developmental biology, advanced microscopy, three-dimensional image analysis and three-dimensional mathematical modelling.

Involved group member

Sabine Fischer
Biena Mathew


Silvia Muñoz-Descalzo (University of Bath, UK)
Alfonso Martinez Arias and Christian Schröter (University of Cambridge, UK)



Mathew B, Schmitz A, Muñoz-Descalzo S, Ansari N, Pampaloni F, Stelzer EHK, Fischer SC (2015), Robust and automated three-dimensional segmentation of densely packed cell nuclei in different biological specimens with Lines-of-Sight decomposition. BMC Bioinformatics 16:187


  • Royal Society International Exchanges grant together with Silvia Muñoz-Descalzo (University of Bath, UK)
  • Add on fellowship for interdisciplinary science (Joachim Herz Stiftung)
  • Project funding through "Freunde und Förderer der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität"