Advanced Sperm Selection in the IVF Lab using IMSI & PICSI

Intracytoplasmic Morphologically-Selected Sperm Injection better known as IMSI for its acronym in English is a laboratory technique used in IVF treatments (IVF) and involves inserting selected sperm into the egg.

IMSI is a real-time method where sperm is selected before the microinjection takes place. This is done using an inverted microscope that is able to provide much greater magnifying power (around 6000 times) than that normally used in reproductive laboratories (400 times) to carry out ICSI. With this microscope, Biologists can see the internal morphology of sperm and discard those with abnormalities. Being able to select sperm without morphological alterations is believed to increase the chances of successful implantation of the pre-embryo and decrease the likelihood of miscarriage.This technique still requires more study to demonstrate its efficacy and validity in order to be used routinely in the assisted reproduction laboratory and to be recommended with sufficient scientific evidence.

IMSI may improve the chances of fertilization in vitro and can be used if you have performed several unsuccessful In Vitro Fertilization attempts.

During ICSI, the selected sperm should have the perfect morphology (shape), excellent motility as well as be mature. A PICSI dish is a technique, which has ensured that only the top quality sperm are selected. This technique involves using a substance called Hyaluronic Hydrogel, which mimics the binding surface of an egg. Only the functionally competent sperms bind to this and from these “good” sperms, the ones to be used for ICSI are selected.

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