It has been 20 years since my team first published on the effects of hyaluronan (also known as hyaluronic acid) on preimplantation embryo culture and transfer1, and so this is a poignant time to reflect on the role of this remarkable macromolecule in assisted reproduction.
No one can argue against the value of high-quality, correctly designed, appropriately powered, multicentre prospective RCTs (or even better systematic reviews of a number of such studies) as the ideal mechanism to generate evidenced-based medicine. But I’m afraid the assisted conception world is far from ideal in this respect and high-quality studies are notoriously difficult to carry out. Unfortunately, some might consider this the situation with evidence in support of the EmbryoScope and morphokinetic embryo selection algorithms, although I’m not sure I’d entirely agree.
Introducing Vitrolife genomics at PGDIS 2019
The International Society for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGDIS) was formed in the early 1990s by a group of clinicians and scientists attending the inaugural meeting in Chicago, based in the historic Drake Hotel, and organised by the late Yury Verlinksy and colleagues, who was one of the pioneers of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, recently renamed preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). Last year, I became President of the Society and have been very involved in organising the 18th, now annual, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting attracted about 350 attendees from 45 countries including nearly 40 from Russia.
This was an important first opportunity for the newly formed Vitrolife genomics team (who turned up in force!) to meet many of our customers for SNP genotyping and karyomapping for diagnosis of monogenic disease (PGT-M) and next generation sequencing (NGS) based chromosome copy number analysis for detection of aneuploidy (PGT-A).
Local anesthesia combined with conscious sedation is the preferred method for oocyte retrieval at the IVF clinic Fertilitetscentrum in Sweden. Dr. Matts Wikland, MD, PhD, Associate Professor explains why.
When working in an IVF lab there are different ways to assess embryos. You can score embryos using morphology and traditional grading, you can use preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to get the genetic profiling of embryos prior to implantation, and finally you can analyse morphokinetic parameters of embryo development using time-lapse information. How do we bring together morphology, PGT and time-lapse to improve our embryo selection?
I joined Vitrolife at the beginning of this year and was very flattered to have been asked to write not only the first blog of the year, but also the first blog from Vitrolife’s Genomics Business Unit – an application area close to my heart.
Living in Cambridge, UK where the structure of DNA was first discovered and where the technique of IVF was pioneered I feel very lucky to be part of this field where we are learning more and more about the role that genetics plays in infertility. Watson and Crick famously discussed their results in the Eagle pub, still popular with Cambridge students today and IVF pioneer Robert Edwards worked in the physiology lab just a few streets away.
Since the early days of human IVF, the quality of an embryo has been based on morphological or developmental characteristics that are assessed at defined time-points. With the introduction of time-lapse technology, we are now able to get the full picture of the dynamic embryo development and make full use of the long-standing existing embryological knowledge. In this recorded webinar, Dr. Tine Qvistgaard Kajhøj will guide you through the benefits of streamlined embryo evaluation, how to perform it and how it helps you obtain improved results.
Human serum albumin (HSA) is a protein, which is purified from human blood and is commonly used in cell and tissue culture media, including media for human gametes and embryos. The role of albumin in culture media is diverse and not always fully understood. In this blog post, I will describe the role of albumin and what the big deal is for its use in IVF laboratories.
This year, Denver was the place to be when participating in the annual meeting of ASRM. Similar to previous years, IVF professionals from all over the world gathered to present or listen to the latest scientific developments in the field of assisted reproduction. We have collected some of our thoughts and reflections of the scientific content of the meeting in this blog post.
Our guest blogger Dr. Gary Harton is well known in the reproductive genetics field, where he has spent his entire career. In this blog post he will take you through the basics, the history, the advantages, the debates and what is yet to be determined when it comes to preimplantation genetic testing in assisted reproduction.