Hot Topics: Device aims to improve in vitro success ratesRock-a-bye, embryo? Turns out, that may just be the key to successful in vitro fertilization.
By: Source: LiveScience.com, INFORUM
Rock-a-bye, embryo? Turns out, that may just be the key to successful in vitro fertilization.
A new study shows that by gently rocking embryos while they grew during in vitro, scientists increased pregnancy rates in mice by more than 20 percent. Now researchers say the same procedure could aid in vitro fertilization in humans.
IVF procedures involve joining an egg and sperm to incubate in a stationary petri dish for a few days before placing the embryo into the woman’s uterus. But researchers say that’s not the natural way conception occurs in a woman’s body, where fluids are flowing and there’s constant movement.
One in six couples will undergo in vitro, and it’s not only costly and often uncovered by insurance, the success rate is only about 35 percent, a researcher says.
Scientists at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor built a device that imitates the motion embryos experience in the body as they make their way down a mammal’s oviduct (a woman’s Fallopian tube) to the uterus.
“By making the cells feel more at home, we get better cells, which is key to having better infertility treatment,” said study researcher Shu Takayama.
The device consists of a thimble-sized funnel, and at the bottom of the funnel are tiny channels that allow nutrient-rich fluids to flow in and waste to move out.
The funnel sits on rows of Braille pins programmed to pulse up and down, pushing fluids in and out of the microchannels. The pulsing simulates motion in the body that ultimately pushes fertilized eggs into the uterus and flushes out an egg’s waste products.