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Computer-automated, time-lapse embryo photography may increase success of IVF
Date:7/2/2014

promising news for couples using or considering in-vitro fertilization because it shows that this technology offers the prospect of selecting embryos that have a greater likelihood of resulting in a pregnancy," said lead author Matthew VerMilyea, PhD, who was serving as director of Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Andrology Laboratories at Penn at the time of the study and is currently a consultant to the division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Penn Medicine. "What's particularly important is that our participants are from multiple clinics, each with distinctive protocols and patient populations, indicating that this technology may be generalizable and could have a significant impact in widely different laboratory settings."

After an egg has been fertilized by a sperm, normal embryos follow clear-cut timeframes for development, such as the time it takes for a two-cell embryo to turn into a three-cell embryo, and the time it takes for a three-cell embryo to turn into a four-cell embryo. Based on these patterns, computer-automated programs have the potential to predict by day two of embryo development which embryo(s) are more likely to become viable blastocysts and, as suggested by the current Penn study, result in a viable pregnancy. By using non-invasive cell tracking and prediction software, the development of each embryo is automatically analyzed against the well-validated cell division time periods. If the timing and duration of cellular divisions fall within the defined optimal time periods, an embryo is given a high probability rating for becoming a blastocyst. If division timing falls outside of the optimal time range, an embryo is given a low probability rating. The current study extends these findings by showing that embryos receiving a high rating for becoming a blastocyst, also have a higher probability to implant and result in a viable pregnancy.

At present, fertility experts examine embryos under a microscope, looking at poten
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Contact: Katie Delach
katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5964
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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