Nanoparticle-based delivery of drugs and contrast agents holds great promise in cancer research, because of the increased delivery efficiency compared to 'free'™ drugs and dyes. A versatile platform to investigate nanotechnology is the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane tumour model, due to its availability (easy, cheap) and accessibility (interventions, imaging). In our group, we developed this model using several tumour cell lines (e.g. breast cancer, colon cancer). In addition, we have synthesized in-house silica coated photoluminescent upconversion nanoparticles with several functional groups (COOH, NH2, PEG). In this work we will present the systematic assessment of their in vivo blood circulation times. To this end, we injected chick embryos grown ex ovo with the functionalized UCNPs and obtained a small amount of blood at several time points after injection to create blood smears The UCNP signal from the blood smears was quantified using a modified inverted microscope imaging set-up. The results of this systematic study are valuable to optimize biochemistry protocols and guide nanomedicine advancement in the versatile chick embryo tumour model.