Ex ovo chick chorioallantoic membrane model

Commonly used acronym: CAM model

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
Type of method
  • In vivo
Used species
chicken embryo
Targeted organ system or type of research
chorioallantoic membrane (CAM)


Method keywords
  • ex ovo
  • in ovo
  • chicken embryo
  • chorioallantoic membrane
  • vasculature
  • CAM
Scientific area keywords
  • angiogenesis
  • embryogenesis
  • vascular development
  • metastasis
  • tumorigenesis
Method description

The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is a highly vascularized membrane which results from the fusion of two extra-embryonic membranes, namely the chorion and the allantois. The CAM is easily accessible for manipulation and imaging, but methodologies differ whether the chicken embryo stays within its shell (in ovo), or is transferred to an external recipient (ex ovo). In a nutshell, compounds or cells are added to the CAM either by intravenous injection or topical application, and their effect on for example angiogenesis is determined.

Lab equipment

Incubator at 37,8°C and 70-90% humidity.

Method status
  • Internally validated

Pros, cons & Future potential

  • - Fertilized chick embryos are readily available ;
  • - CAM is easily accessible for manipulation and imaging ;
  • - Suitable model to study angiogenesis in xenograft onplants or after seeding of allogenic cells, as the chick embryo only develops an adequate immune system shortly after hatching ;
  • - Short developmental time of the chick embryo (20-21 days) allows for a fast screening of different testing conditions ;
  • - No special culturing or housing conditions needed ;
  • - Relatively cheap model.
  • - Embryonic tissue ;
  • - Limited amount of reagents available for chicken ;
  • - Avian instead of mammalian model ;
  • - CAM is susceptible to non-specific angiogenesis.

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Hanna Tay


Ghent University (UGent)
Flemish Region