It is a method assessing embryo developmental potential including the metabolic analysis of embryo culture medium.
When to apply it
Despite continuous achievements and new developments significantly increasing IVF success rates, problems still occur, particularly that of increased multiple pregnancies.
During IVF, the therapeutic treatment aims to produce a number of ovarian follicles to skip several eggs (stimulation stage). It has been proved that pregnancy success rates increase once more than one embryos are transferred to the maternal cavity.
Of course, embryologists select the best embryos based on specific morphological criteria, such as cell shape, number, form, clarity, and size (division stage, cell number, fraction rate) for embryo transfer (blastomeres). This is both a particularly important and complex process due to the inability to precisely determine embryo developmental potential or survival before their transfer.
Scientific developments have demonstrated that morphological features are no longer the key criterion for embryo selection before their transfer. Metabolomics studies a cell’s micromolar metabolic profile, embryo developmental potential, and it is the final result of its genome’s genetic expression.
The procedure at a glance
Through the newly developed metabolomics, embryologists will proceed to a metabolic analysis of the culture medium for embryos (genomic, protein, and transcription factors) and the precise determination of embryos having the potential to develop.
This study allows to select the best out of three or four embryos produced with very high approximation. Therefore, both the number of embryos transferred to the uterus and the risk for multiple pregnancies are reduced.