In this proposed research study, the investigators plan to assess the efficacy of gametes'
(egg and sperm) treatment on fertilization as well as pre- and post-implantation embryo
The spermatozoa will be prepared in the standard fashion and utilized for injection after
exposure to a membrane permeabilizing agent. The injected oocytes will be then exposed to the
previously mentioned activating agents for the purpose of inducing embryo development. The
successfully fertilized oocytes will be further kept in culture for up to 5 days as per
standard IVF/ICSI. Results in terms of fertilization and embryo cleavage will be assessed and
monitored for the remainder of the culture period. Developing embryos selected according to
standard criteria will be replaced to the patient or will be cryopreserved.
Because fertilization failure carries such a high emotional and financial toll on our
patients, at the present time, the only method to generate an embryo for these cases is to
perform assisted oocyte activation in conjunction with ICSI. The research intervention -
assisted oocyte activation - is believed to help alleviate the failed fertilization by
obtaining some zygotes for the patient. In these cases of complete failed fertilization,
intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) will be performed as a routine clinical treatment
even if they are not enrolled in the study. After several failures, their reproductive
physician may recommend the use of donor spermatozoa instead of the male partner's.
- Patients with complete fertilization failure with standard IVF or failure with one
prior ICSI treatment cycle
- not meeting inclusion criteria
- IVF without ICSI
Gianpiero Palermo, MD, PhD
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Rodriq Stubbs, NP