In Focus: In Vitro Maturation after Early Egg Retrieval

Our image this month is an example of the new technology scientists at the CHR are employing to make the best eggs possible for our patients. Shown here is a human egg that has not yet completed the process of maturation needed before it can be fertilized. Many human eggs that are retrieved remain “immature” and it is our ongoing and future aim to establish conditions that will allow us to avail as many “mature” eggs as possible for our patients.

Under the direction of David F. Albertini, PhD, an expert on biomedical imaging, CHR is launching a research program with the latest technologies that should allow us to evaluate the quality of each and every egg we retrieve for our patients.

The image here represents a human egg that we subjected to “in vitro maturation.” After it was retrieved, it was placed into culture in hopes that it would finish the maturation process. Using special techniques, we were able to determine that this egg had not completed the process, enabling us to identify reasons why this occurs. Here the chromosomes in the egg are apparent in the lower right hand corner (blue); the red coloration refers to special proteins we can visualize that hold the egg cell and its surrounding cells together.

This is a part of the January 2018 CHR VOICE.

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.