Viability assessment of oocytes and embryos by means of Biodynamic Imaging
Infertility is the disease of the reproductive system and is estimated to affect more than 10% of the people of reproductive age. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are methods designed to alleviate infertility problems. In vitro embryo production is part of most infertility treatments and the efficiency of ART is low due to the lack of reliable methods to measure embryo viability. In order to improve the success rate of ART procedures, the current study was designed to investigate the use of an optical analyzer technology known as the Biodynamic Imaging (BDI) system for viability assessment. BDI is a novel approach that is able to measure intracellular dynamic processes that are directly related to functional events. During a series of experiments, 13 different biomarkers of oocytes and embryos were monitored by the BDI microscope and used for machine learning and evaluation of BDI sensitivity. We monitored cellular mechanisms essential for proper embryo development such as (1) extrusion of first and second polar body (2) energy status and mitochondrial activity, and (3) viability of embryos with different cellular composition. We were able to identify several biomarkers that have the potential to indicate viability: (1) slope, (2) NSD, (3) Knee (4) Floor, and (5) R2 could consistently differentiate between oocytes and embryos of different viability. In addition, the BDI microscope could successfully predict the energy status of embryos by identifying 4 biomarkers (Slope, Knee, Floor, and Dy). Finally, a lipidomic analysis was done to evaluate the lipid composition of oocytes with different cytoplasm integrities. This analysis demonstrated that there is a difference in lipid subclasses among oocytes with dark vs. light cytoplasm. The results indicate that the BDI is useful for viability assessment of oocytes and embryos and may be helpful for the improvement of the efficiency of assisted reproductive technologies.