IB Research: Metabolomic and chemometric analysis of embryo culture medium
Analysis of metabolites or compounds found in the culture medium where embryo development takes place could serve as indicator in order to identify which present greater qualities for achieving full term pregnancy. Embryo metabolism studies are generating a large quantity of information on the energy required by embryos developed in vitro.
However, due to the complex nature of the techniques and their cost, use in day-to-day activities in clinics has proven impossible. Additionally, many of the research studies published on the subject have presented a lack of reproducibility in results.
The aim of our research work was to identify any possible metabolite in the embryo culture medium which might be linked to an increase or decrease in pregnancy rates.
The research work was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Agrochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Alicante and included the evaluation of 121 microdrops of embryo culture medium from 76 couples who underwent IVF treatment at Instituto Bernabeu. Following metabolomic analysis using high pressure liquid chromatography mass spectrometry techniques (HPLC-MS), no metabolite which might affect or condition the number of children born (51,3%) was found.
The use of metabolomics as a tool in order to select embryos in an IVF cycle has not returned satisfactory results. However, in the case of some disorders which present poor reproduction prognosis such as implantation failure and repeat miscarriages, it has the potential to provide useful information in terms of more efficient embryo selection.
This research work was one of the ten selected by the most important international scientific congress’ committee held for the 31st time in Lisbon in June.
"Non-Invasive metabolomic and chemometric analysis of human embryo culture medium at low oxygen pressure." R. Gonsálvez-Álvarez, J. Ten, B. Lledó, R. Bernabeu, F.C. Marhuenda-Egea. Poster. ESHRE Annual Meeting. Lisbon, Portugal. June 2015.