A new assisted conception method could significantly improves the success rate of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), reports the journal Reproductive BioMedicine. The scientists involved, from the University of Bonn, report that the new technique doubles the chance of success using ICSI.
ICSI is often the last resort for couples in their attempt to have a child. The method involves extracting individual functioning sperm cells from testicular tissue, which are then injected into the ovum. Several ova are usually fertilized in this way and it then takes 26 hours until the plasmosomes of the ovum and sperm cell fuse and an embryo forms. "In this time frame we have to decide which of the fertilized ova to insert into the uterus," explained researcher Dr. Markus Montag.
Which of the fertilized ova are finally implanted has usually been left up to chance. But not all ova are of the same quality. Using a simple procedure, the scientists were able to select the two most suitable candidates. "For this we observe the ovule under a microscope," Dr. Montag explains. "There it appears as a luminescent orange-red ring. The brighter this ring is and the more uniformly it shines, the greater the chance that it becomes a child."
The researchers have developed special software which analyses the image from the microscope objectively and proposes the most suitable cells. "This way the procedure can be implemented in clinical routine without problems and without much effort," Dr. Montag concluded.
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Source: University of Bonn