Anecova SA, a firm from Switzerland, is another recipient of the prestigious World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer Award in Biotech/Health category. The company has developed an intrauterine device, that is essentially an incubator featuring cell encapsulation technology, that harbors and protects newly created embryos, while offering them a natural environment of the maternal uterus. The company says that preliminary study results of its device are “very encouraging.”
Here’s little bit more about the technology, that was co-developed with the Laboratoire d’Etude sur la Neurodégénérescence at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL):
In the ANECOVA approach, the zygotes are placed in the maternal uterine cavity over all early development stages to get the benefits of a customized and adapted environment. The injected ovocytes are directly placed in the ANECOVA device which is then placed within the uterine cavity for the desired period. Formed embryos are then recovered and after the usual selection process, the required number is transferred as in the traditional embryo transfer procedure.
The first ANECOVA device thus restores the fertilization and early embryonic development phases back into the physiological environment of the maternal uterus instead of the laboratory incubator. This permits the development of the embryos in close communication and exchange with maternal factors from the very start of life.
A positive influence is expected on both the number and the individual quality of the embryos thus produced which should translate into better overall results of assisted reproduction.