Fertility SA continually strives to improve its success rates through the implementation of new technologies and services, under the guidance of our New Developments Director Associate Professor Louise Hull. Recently introduced services include:
• EmbryoGen and BlastGen culture media – A recent trial of EmbryoGen at Fertility SA in more than 60 couples, showed 60% higher clinical pregnancy rates than in previous cycles for those couples. Embryos that were cultured in EmbryoGen in the lab showed improved embryo development, and better implantation than embryos cultured in normal media when embryos were transferred at Day 3 of culture.
As an expansion of this trial, Fertility SA is now conducting a study of BlastGen to see if the benefits of EmbryoGen are further enhanced by culturing the embryos in BlastGen. BlastGen is a new GM-CSF containing media developed by the University of Adelaide, used to culture embryos from day 3 to day 5.
Fertility SA is the first unit in Australia to use this media and we plan to compare EmbryoGen and BlastGen with our standard media to see if pregnancy rates and pregnancy outcomes are improved.
Embryo: An EmbryoGen created embryo
Ultrasound: 12 week pregnancy
• Next Generation Sequencing for Chromosome Screening – DNA is made up of a sequence of molecules in a similar way to words being made up of a code of letters. The code of all Chromosomes (46XY or 46XX) can be deciphered from DNA in the cells taken from the embryo using next generation sequencing. This gives different detail in the analysis compared to the more commonly used CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) arrays and is also highly accurate.
• PICSI plates – a method to help our embryologists select the best sperm for patients requiring Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This technology is based on the natural mechanism that the egg uses to select sperm. Our laboratory has seen a significant increase in high quality blastocyst embryos obtained during an IVF cycle using this technique, and for many couples a pregnancy has resulted. This technology is particularly suitable for couples who have difficulty conceiving due to mild or moderate male factor problems or sperm DNA damage.
To read more about PICSI plates, download our media release here.