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Unique IVF Techniques

Mitochondrial Donation Program

Assisted reproductive treatments are employed to facilitate pregnancy. Insufficient egg quality stands out as a primary factor contributing to recurring failures in assisted reproduction treatments. The quality of eggs is predominantly influenced by mitochondria, which are small organelles serving as the energy suppliers of cells, along with other factors found in the cytoplasm of eggs. While egg donation remains a viable option to attain pregnancy, there is a need for alternative solutions that consider both physiological and ethical considerations. Egg donation necessitates an alternative approach because every individual has the right to experience parenthood and carry their genetic material throughout pregnancy.

Unique IVF Techniques Method and Process

Mitochondrial donation entails the extraction of nuclear DNA from an individual’s egg, which harbors defective mitochondria, and implanting it into a healthy donor egg that has undergone nuclear DNA removal. This procedure can be conducted either before fertilization, known as maternal spindle transfer, or after fertilization, referred to as pronuclear transfer. The fertilized egg is subsequently transferred into the mother’s uterus in line with standard IVF practices. When the mitochondrial battery is depleted, the cell’s capacity for optimal growth and development diminishes, resulting in decreased fertilization, elevated aneuploidy rates, and reduced IVF success rates.

In Vitro Fertilization Techniques are Suitable for Those Who?

Patients who are struggling with poor egg quality often face multiple failed IVF attempts due to impaired embryo development. Conventional egg donation programs become a necessity for these individuals to fulfill their dream of having a child. Mitochondrial degeneration significantly reduces a woman’s chances of successful pregnancy, particularly as the eggs age. As the mitochondria experience wear and tear, DNA mutations occur, leading to a lack of energy that hinders embryos from sustaining fertilization. In such cases, addressing mitochondrial degeneration through techniques like mitochondrial donation may offer a potential solution to restore nuclear function within the oocyte. For some parents, this technology could be the sole option to have a genetically related child without mitochondrial DNA disease.

Pronuclear Donation Program

Pronuclear embryo transfer involves conducting in vitro fertilization using the eggs of a woman with mitochondria containing mutant DNA and the sperm of the intended father. On day 1 of development, the pronucleus is extracted, leaving behind the majority of the mutated mitochondria. These pronuclei are then transferred to an enucleated zygote that possesses healthy mitochondria. It’s essential to transfer them to an enucleated zygote, not an egg, to maintain the same developmental state. The hybrid zygote is cultured in vitro until it reaches a suitable stage for transfer to the uterus.

Advantages of Pronuclear Program

There is no risk of fertilization since the transfer occurs between zygotes. This procedure provides families affected by serious mitochondrial diseases an opportunity to have healthy children, free from devastating and often life-limiting diseases. Moreover, it leads to better blastocyst outcomes. Pronuclear transfer offers a significant chance for patients who were previously considered only for oocyte donation, giving them a final opportunity to have their genetically healthy baby.