Joint Optics and BME Seminar: Dr. Thomas Baer
Timing is Everything: Predicting Embryo Viability through Quantitative Imaging of the First Three Days of Human Development
Executive Director, Stanford Photonics Research Center, Stanford University
I will discuss studies of preimplantation human embryo development that correlate microscopic time-lapse image analysis and gene expression profiling. By examining a large set of zygotes from in vitro fertilization (IVF), we find that early viability (success in progression to the blastocyst stage) can be predicted with >93% sensitivity and specificity by measuring three dynamic, noninvasive imaging parameters. These parameters can be reliably monitored by automated image analysis, confirming that successful human embryo development follows a set of carefully orchestrated and predictable events. Moreover, we show that these imaging phenotypes reflect molecular programs of the embryo and of individual blastomeres. Single-cell gene expression analysis reveals that blastomeres develop heterogeneously, with some cells advancing to gene activation and others arresting. Our studies indicate that success and failure in human embryo development is largely determined before embryonic gene activation. Our methods and algorithms may provide an improved approach for early diagnosis of embryo potential in assisted reproduction procedures.
Refreshments will be provided.