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An embryo in the partial phase of hatching

SEM of a stage 3 embryo in vitro in the partial phase of hatching. Measuring bar = 10µm. Trophoblast cells (T) have ruptured through the zona pellucida (ZP) at the embryonic pole which is unusual. The trophoblast cells are probably zona breaker cells. Reproduced with permission from Y. Nikas whose website is

From: Sathananthan et al., 2003. Printed from Reproductive Biomedicine Online.

Keywords: embryonic pole, partial phase of hatching, trophoblast cells, zona breaker cells, zona pellucida

Source: The Virtual Human Embryo.