Yale scientists have been working on a new method to screen IVF embryos for viability.
From the BBC:
The ViaTestE device, developed by scientists from Yale, can score the metabolic activity of a sample of the fluid from around the embryo using spectrophotometry, which uses infrared light to measure the make-up of a substance.
For example, it is used to tell if milk is full-fat or semi-skimmed.
In this instance, the technology checks the activity of metabolites – the substances produced by the embryo.
The team tested around 500 samples of embryo fluid, without knowing which had implanted successfully.
The embryos had also been assessed in the clinics using the traditional method.
That gave around a 40% rate of accurately identifying the embryos which developed into viable foetuses.
But “fingerprinting” using the new test increased that rate to between 60% and 70%.
From these and other results, the scientists believe using the test could improve pregnancy rates by between 10-15%.
More at the BBC News…
Image credit: Wellcome images: Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a human embryo at day 5 sitting on the tip of a pin….