Oral Presentation The Joint Annual Scientific Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology 2017

There’s more than meets the eye: the next generation of non-invasive embryo diagnostics for the IVF clinic (#116)

Hannah Brown 1
  1. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

With the widespread use of assisted reproduction, a simple, practical and non-invasive method for embryo selection is needed to decrease the social, financial and emotional burden of starting a family.  Morphological assessment of embryos by embryologists has been the gold-standard method for decades, and while a number of technologies have been proposed and tested, none have yet come to replace this time-honoured method of assessment.  Non-invasive methods for embryo selection include (1) selection on the basis of the morphology of individual embryos at the time of transfer, (2) selection on the basis of the morpho-kinetic changes of individual embryos during early developmental stages observed by time-lapse photography, (3) selection on the basis of the oxygen consumption by individual embryos, (4) selection on the basis of various biochemical markers measured in the culture medium of individual embryos, (5) selection on the basis of oxidative stress to which individual embryos are subjected, or (6) a combination of some of the above methods [1].  Most recently, our team, through new and exciting collaboration has focussed on the development of novel, photonics-based technologies to improve non-invasive diagnostics, through sensing, in the IVF clinic.  Combing decades of fundamental biological discovery with the newest innovation in physical and chemical sensing, we are developing new tools and technologies to change the way embryo assessment is performed. Optical fibre probes, multi-spectral imaging, chemical sensors and applied statistical models are allowing us to interrogate embryo behaviour, and the in vivo reproductive tract, in ways we never have before.