According to the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online, British researchers specialised in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have recently "shown that the continuous monitoring of the growth of an embryo before implantation in the uterus makes it possible to detect those that have no chromosomal disorders."
The device, an embryoscope, carries out almost continuous monitoring of the growth of an embryo during the 3 to 5 days after its fertilization, with a picture taken every 10 or 20 minutes. "In order to confirm the intuition that continuous monitoring would ensure real progress compared to ‘classic” daily observation, the British researchers compared the technique with chromosomal analyses that make it possible to detect genetic disorders before the implantation in the mother’s uterus. This type of preimplantation diagnosis is very strictly controlled in France, and is practised only in exceptional circumstances."
Following their observation, the embryos were classified into three risk categories (low, medium and high): "Eleven pregnancies resulted in births from a low-risk embryo, a success rate of 61% compared to only five in the medium-risk group (19% success) and none in the high-risk group."
Thomas Fréour, a biologist in the Medically Assisted Procreation unit of Nantes University Hospital, the first unit in France to use the technique since 2011, says that "these results are still only preliminary ones, but they do confirm the suspected link between the speed of growth of the embryo and the success of pregnancies." He adds that "the technique is still quite expensive, as a machine that can continuously monitor the embryos of 6 patients costs around €90,000."