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Light at the end of the tunnel for IVF patients and embryo health

With FertilitySA continuing to invest significantly into scientific research programs that target better patient outcomes, we are committed to research projects that demonstrate this in practice.

One of the greatest challenges for IVF clinics is identifying which embryos are suitable for transfer back into the patient’s uterus.

The current method involves taking a small number of cells from the embryo (a biopsy), then sequencing the DNA to confirm that the embryo has a predicted number of chromosomes.

As well as being invasive, this procedure can be inaccurate.

A team led by the University of Adelaide has developed a new diagnostic tool that has the potential to improve IVF success rates for hopeful parents.

Co-author Dr Ryan Rose, Fertility SA Director of Research and Innovation said, “the time to pregnancy can be reduced with this new non-invasive IVF procedure. With FertilitySA continuing to invest significantly into scientific research programs that target better patient outcomes.”

Ryan D Rose, Robinson Research Institute, School of Biomedicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
Fertility SA, St. Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia

As an integral research team member for the published paper in the leading journal Human Reproduction, the revolutionary procedure involves shining gentle doses of light upon an embryo and capturing the scattered light that comes back.

This reveals the intricacies of its biochemistry, providing insight into the health of the embryo.

FertiltySA are excited for the final clinical implementation (after confirmation of a proof of concept).

Affecting 15% of Australians, the inability to conceive one’s own child places a burden on the parental unit and society as a whole, and can lead to reduced productivity, financial hardship, relationship breakdown and mental illness.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is the leading method to address infertility, yet it still has a low success rate: Less than 1 in 5 initiated cycles delivered a live birth nationally.

Primary author Tiffany Tan said “This discovery has the potential to improve IVF success, achieving parenthood for more patients in fewer IVF cycles.”

Tiffany C Y Tan, Robinson Research Institute, School of Biomedicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

The University of Adelaide Media Release:

adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/news/list/2021/11/09/improving-ivf-success-research-shines-a-light-on-embryo-health

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