A more affordable and sensitive method of identifying embryos with normal genetic characteristics will help many become parents
Loma Linda, Calif. (January 9, 2017) – Loma Linda University Center for Fertility and IVF is now able to use the next generation sequencing (NGS) technology to screen embryos for genetic abnormalities that can result in miscarriages or genetically caused birth defects.
NGS is a catch-all term used to describe a number of different modern sequencing technologies. The new method is quickly replacing traditional DNA sequencing as an inclusive technique to test genes and select the healthiest embryos for implantation in the uterus during in vitro fertilization (IVF). The testing method is part of LLU’s preimplantation genetic testing program and provides patients another way to to test embryos before undergoing embryo transfer following IVF treatment.
“Next generation sequencing is a more discriminating way to evaluate embryos before implantation,” said LLU IVF Lab Director, Johannah Corselli. “It’s important to offer this service for all of our fertility patients.”
The high demand for genetic testing of embryos created through IVF, along with the trend to implant a single embryo during IVF to eliminate higher-risk pregnancies of twins or more, has driven the development of NGS. It evaluates genetic conditions more completely, faster and at a lower cost.
Traditional DNA sequencing, known as Sanger sequencing, analyzes about 30 base pairs to 800 base pairs from one piece of DNA. Although an accurate method for a precise DNA sequence, Sanger is not able to identify chromosome abnormalities.
Other benefits of next generation sequencing include:
- Can sequence up to millions of DNA fragments ranging from 150 to over 600 base pairs — all at the same time.
- Can determine both mitochondrion and chromosome abnormalities (which is not possible with traditional methods).
About Loma Linda University Center for Fertility & IVF
Established in 1988, Loma Linda University Center for Fertility & IVF is one of the longest standing fertility centers in Southern California. Led by medical director John Jacobson, M.D., the Center for Fertility provides personalized, quality fertility care to the Inland Empire. All fertility services are offered on-site including infertility testing, reproductive surgery, egg retrievals, embryo transfers and in vitro fertilization with the area’s leading lab.