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BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of medical researchers from Stanford University has discovered a new way to measure the viability of egg cell based on their morphological properties. A patient’s fertility can be measured by the embryo’s squishiness, which is unanimously considered a far better prediction method than multiple egg cell implantation.
The Stanford research team learned that an egg cell’s viability can be predicted with a far greater accuracy by studying its mechanical properties. According to the their study entitled “Human oocyte developmental potential is predicted by their mechanical properties within hours after fertilization”, the doctors will now be able to predict foretell with greater accuracy if the an egg cell can transform into an embryo or not by studying its mechanical properties upon an hour after the fertilization process took place.
This new insight into the human fertilization could improve the rate of success of the IVF procedures, which currently use multiple artificially fertilized egg cells in order to boost the rate of success. The current IVF procedure involves a rigorous selection of fertilized egg cells. Only those with potential are selected in order to be implanted into the uterus.
Current IVF procedures dictate that multiple cells should be harvested from the patient. These cells are then injected with sperm cells and left alone for five to six days. Now, when the fertilized ovum reaches the 60-100 blastocyst phase, the doctors would take another look at them. This is a critical stage for the in vitro procedure.
The doctors must pay attention to the cell’s aspect and the rate of division. If the cells divide fast enough, then they are ready for implantation. Usually, doctors will implant multiple cells into the womb in order to increase the odds of fertility.
But, according to this new study performed by the Stanford University, it would seem that this process might, in fact, stress out the embryo. This, in turn, decreases the egg cell’s chance of turning into an embryo. Although the solution might seem sound enough, the doctors have determined that insemination with multiple fertilized ovum might lead to complication in both mother and child.
According to Livia Yanez, a bioengineering Ph.D. student and doctor Barry Behr, the director of Stanford’s in vitro lab, the odds of fertilization could be increased by over 50 percent if the scientists use the mechanical properties of the egg cell as a criterion for selection.
A team of bioengineers from Stanford determined that fertility can be predicted by the embryo’s squishiness. In lab mice, the scientists have discovered that the cell’s elasticity could play a key role in the procedure’s odds of success. And the true beauty of this technique lies in its simplicity. The doctors used only a pipette and egg cells harvested from a mouse.
Building a computer model with the data obtained from this test, the scientists have discovered that the model can actually predict the odds based only on the cell’s squishiness. If refined, this technique could help many mothers out there who suffer from infertility.