Short term dynamic fluid environment exposure as a promoter of embryo development
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Although multiple embryo transfers (MET) are directly correlated with an increase in multiple gestations, they remain common practice in the infertility community. This is due, at least in part, to attempts at Single Embryo Transfer (SET) continuing to yield reduced per-cycle delivery rates. One of the leading causes of this reduced rate is the lack of quantitative means of detecting embryo quality. The demand for a non-invasive, quantitative means of determining the highest quality embryos led to the creation of the Modified Specific Gravity Device (MSGD), which has been proposed and tested by Prien et al. with promising results. The MSGD is designed to measure the buoyancy of embryos without compromising their fecundity. The initial tests of this device indicated a potential positive correlation between the exposure to the device and improved embryo development. This relationship may be explained through the microfluidic like dynamics innately associated with the device. This study tests this assertion by exposing embryos to the MSGD environment for varying durations and following their developmental progress for five days. In each reiteration of exposure time, embryos were shown to develop at an improved rate as compared to those that were placed directly in culture. These results suggest a positive association between the microfluidic like environment created by the MSGD and the enhancement of embryo development, which further endorses the value that the MSGD could potentially provide to the reproductive community at large.