- Embryo media
culture may influence IVF cultures
- Imaging system
used to detect cancer cells now adapted for embryo selection
- Embryo selection
is based on DNA markers
A new technique by
researchers Dr.Hannah Brown and colleagues from the University of Adelaide has
been trialed recently, to select the best embryo for implantation in an IVF
procedure. The technique was designed to improve the chances of pregnancy
following an IVF procedure.
The research team used a
sophisticated imaging system that is used to identify the presence of cancer
cells and determined the texture differences in embryos that were grown using
‘Better embryo selection increases chances of pregnancy in IVF.’
or In vitro Fertilization
IVF or in
vitro fertilization technique is performed for childless couples who
are unable to conceive on their own.
of IVF - The treatment involves treating the woman with hormones so more number
of eggs mature in a particular cycle.
The eggs are then
collected and placed in a culture dish into which sperms from the male are
added. The sperms for the procedure are selected based on their motility and
The embryos are allowed
to grow and out of the many embryos that grow, a few are selected to be
implanted into the woman. It is hoped that out of the 4 embryos that are
implanted into the woman, at least one will get implanted and grow into a
Criteria for Selecting Embryos
The following are some
of the guidelines that are followed while selecting an embryo
- Embryos with good
number of cell divisions.
- The cells of the
embryo appear to be uniform in size
- Absence of
fragments in the embryo
These observations are
made by viewing the embryos under the microscope.
the Most Effective Technique for Embryo Selection
The technique that can
identify 'good' embryos is based on
- The level of the
- The biomarkers
that are expressed in DNA damage during development of the embryo.
- The process of selecting the embryos
is crucial as it would mean better chances of a pregnancy. Currently, the
available selection criteria are based on the observations of the embryologist
and as Dr Hanna Brown, who is the lead author, adds "That's a very difficult
decision to make based on the little evidence available".
of this new technique
- The technique
that is used is non-invasive since it is an imaging technique, which makes
it harmless for developing embryos.
- Embryos that
looked identical under a microscope, showed variations in this imaging
study was performed on mouse embryos but they show a lot of promise and there
could be clinical trials on human embryos to identify the embryo that would be
best suited for implantation.
Dr.Brown says "We have been successful on two fronts: in
determining important differences between what would appear on the surface to
be almost identical embryos, and in selecting those embryos that have had the
best chance of a successful pregnancy.
IVF is a relatively
simple procedure but there are many couples who fail to get pregnant even after
many cycles of the procedure and a considerable percentage of these are due to
the inability of the embryos to get implanted in the endometrium. Embryos that
may seem perfectly normal under a microscope may be unfit for growth as
evidenced in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
Since PGD may not be
preferred by most couples and since the current study was only an imaging
technique, the new technique could soon become a popularly used option.
Most childless couple
undergo severe mental anxiety as they wait for the results of the IVF procedure
and look forward to pregnancy, however a disappointment in the form of failed
implantation can lead to a lot of emotional stress. An imaging technique that
separates the good embryo from the rest will increase the chances of pregnancy
and reduce the trauma of patient who wish to avail an IVF.
As Dr Brown says "Our
ultimate aim is to make the process of IVF more successful for couples, and to
help produce the healthiest pregnancy possible for the benefit of the whole
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/in-vitro-fertilization/home/ovc-20206838)
- Coffee drinking habits can be written in our DNA, study finds - (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/uoe-cdh082316.php)