Metabolomics and its application for non-invasive embryo assessment in IVF

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Morphology and cleavage rate remain the mainstay of embryo assessment. However, a number of additional technologies for this application are under investigation. These include the measurement of glucose, lactate, pyruvate or amino acid levels in the embryo culture media, assessment of oxygen consumption by the embryo, genomic and proteomic profiling, and most recently, analytical examination of the embryonic metabolome. As the number of assisted reproduction cycles increases worldwide, improvements in the ability to quickly and non-invasively identify the best embryos for transfer remain a critical goal for reproductive medicine. Recent studies suggest that metabolomic profiling of embryo culture media using optical and non-optical spectroscopies may provide a useful adjunct to the current embryo assessment strategies and provide insight into the phenotype of embryos with increasing reproductive potential.

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