An Eye to the Future: Embryology and Innovation

Posted on October 23, 2015

Jason Au is an embryologist at PCRM. He is an esteemed member of our scientific team and a dedicated biologist and researcher. He recently traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia to attend the annual CFAS (Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society) meeting held at the beginning of October. This was his third time in attendance.

With much discussion centering on the Ontario provincial government’s recent decision to help fund IVF procedures, PCRM was eager to partake in the conference.

However, this was not the extent of Jason’s involvement at this year’s meeting.

Jason was invited to present his findings from a research project conducted over the past two years. The results stem from his collaboration with Dr. Parvaneh Saeedi, a professor from Simon Fraser University and expert in bioimaging and artificial intelligence. Jason’s expertise merged with Dr. Saeedi’s engineering proficiency has yielded a variety of compelling insights. This is an ongoing study with many potential benefits for practitioners in the fertility field.

The impetus behind the research: what if embryo quality could be determined in a better way, using a quantitative approach.

In selecting the best embryo for transfer, embryologists carefully study its morphology. It has been established that a connection exists between an embryo’s appearance and its chances of successful implantation. Following a checklist of criteria, this process has always been done with the naked eye. Although experienced embryologists are very good at it, it remains a subjective process. Jason’s work involves a closer inspection of embryo imagery in order to analyze it mathematically. If measurements can be made of certain components’ thickness, or area, then embryologists can assign it a quantitative number. These figures may then provide a correlation with the likelihood of implantation.

Simply put, this is something that has never been done before.

Jason’s research is just one of several ongoing studies currently involving the staff and facilities at PCRM.

PCRM is committed to all patients suffering infertility challenges. Our specialists are constantly seeking new ways to improve our methodology. Research, education and informed decision-making are at the heart of what we do.

To learn more about the range of services we provide, click here. To meet Jason and his fellow scientists at PCRM, visit the team page.

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