Microscopic barcodes for embryos could cut down errors
Minimising handling and implantation errors
Researchers at the Autonomous University of
Barcelona have devised a possible solution for embarrassing
errors in the handling of embryos and eggs during IVF procedures:
microscopic barcodes. Mouse eggs were injected with microscopic silicone
barcodes into their perivitelline space, the gap between the cell membrane and
an outer membrane known as the zona pellucida, which binds sperm cells during
The barcodes are biologically inert, and
therefore do not affect the rate of embryo development and are shed prior to
the embryo’s implantation in the uterine wall. The technique, which labels
embryos with unique binary identification numbers, aims to simplify individual
embryo identification, streamlining IVF and embryo transfer procedures.
The Government of Catalonia’s Department of
Health has granted permission for development of the technique using human
embryos and eggs from fertility clinics in Spain. ~ New
Scientist, Nov 23
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