Updated: July 26, 2021 12:06:42 am
On World IVF Day on Sunday, Dr Satish Patki, senior IVF consultant, Patki Hospital, and Dr Sam Balu, head of genomics department at Lilac Insights, a genetic diagnostic testing company, jointly announced the success of a path-breaking technology in IVF treatment called ‘non-invasive chromosomal screening (NICS)’ of the pre-implantation blastocyst embryos.
In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is already an established treatment for infertile couples, where eggs of a woman/female are fertilised with a male’s sperms in a laboratory and then cultured in an incubator. The most mature form of the embryo, in the form of a ball of multiple cells with a fluid-filled cavity called blastocyst, is developed on the fifth day after retrieval of eggs.
It has been proven that about 30 to 40 per cent embryos developed during IVF are chromosomally abnormal (aneuploid). Hence, after transfer of such embryos to the mother’s womb, they are rejected and only chromosomally normal embryos (euploid) get implanted, provided the uterus is receptive.
Presently, the technology which detects chromosomal status of the blastocyst called pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) is invasive.
Dr Patki told the media on Sunday that in PGT, some cells from the blastocyst were removed by a small needle (embryo biopsy) under the microscope with the help of laser technology and then subjected for chromosomal evaluation.
This procedure, however, had the disadvantage of being invasive and traumatic to the embryo and could lead to embryo damage, he added.
Dr Patki also said additionally, it needed a skilled embryologist to perform the procedure and high-end instrumentation involving laser machine. The new technology, NICS, was an entirely non-invasive procedure, he added.
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