Investigators: Dr Eva Dimitriadis (1), A/Prof Luk Rombauts (2,3), Dr Tiki Osianlis (3)
1 Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton; 2 Monash IVF, Clayton; 3 Monash Dept Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clayton
Human oocytes display a high degree of aneuploidy and the rate of aneuploidy increases with age. Increasingly, women of advanced age are seeking IVF. However, their likelihood of success is low due to the low number of euploid oocytes available. Coupled with this are sperm meiotic errors and embryo mitotic errors resulting in an even higher incidence of aneuploid embryos. At present the only techniques available to assess the chromosomal state of an embryo in culture are costly and invasive involving the removal of cells from pre-implantation stage embryos. A non-invasive test for embryo aneuploidy would be a major advance and constitute a significant benefit for patients undergoing IVF.
Rosenbluth et al (2012) recently showed that microRNA (miR) expression patterns differs in human blastocyst trophectoderm tissue depending on their ploidity. Our pilot data identified that embryos secreted miRs in the culture media (below) suggesting that miRNAs present in the culture media may present an avenue for the non-invasive identification of euploid embryos. Recent evidence has also suggested that time-lapse microscopy of IVF embryos during development is useful in identifying atypical development (Athayde Wirka et al, 2014). The aim of this study is to develop a non-invasive test of aneuploidy. We will combine analysis of miRNAs secreted by embryos in culture media, time-lapse imagery of embryos during development and 24 chromosome screening. To confirm embryo ploidy, 24 chromosome screening will be correlated with the non-invasive tests.