A new technique to sort human and animal embryos



 

Scientists at Adelaide University (Southern Australia) have published a study on a new pre-implantation screening technique in the  Human Reproduction journal. This technique sorts embryos at an early stage, based on their cell metabolism, and is currently being tested in cattle.

 

Whereas "pre-implantation screening is generally carried out under a normal microscope", this new, non-invasive technique uses hyperspectral imaging. It involves measuring the light naturally produced by active embryo cells. Through analysis, scientists can now identify the embryo's metabolic and chemical processes, and sort them using more "objective" criteria than before. According to Dr Mel Sutton-McDowall, principal author of the study, the technique can be used to "predict whether embryos with a homogeneous (uniform) metabolic cell profile are the healthiest". She refers to "discrimination within the embryos".

 

The team of scientists hope that this technique will be applied to both human IVF and the agricultural breeding sector to "improve herd quality" and "maximise production in the agricultural sector". Dr Sutton believes that "this technique is extremely promising " and "this innovative approach" will "soon be commercially available", since it "improves women's chances [of pregnancy]" whilst reducing costs.


Sources: 

Medical Xpress (29/08/17)