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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 20: Co-culture of Embryos

By David Kreiner MD

August 2nd, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty: Co-culture of Embryos. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.eastcoastfertility.com/?p=114

 Co-culture of Embryos

Co-culture is a procedure whereby “helper” cells are grown along with the developing embryo.  The most popular cell lines include endometrial cells (from the endometrium or uterine lining) and cumulus cells from a woman’s ovaries.  Both cell lines are derived from patients.  Endometrial cells are more difficult to obtain and process, while cumulus cells are routinely removed along with the oocytes during the IVF retrieval. 

Cumulus cells play an important role on the maturation and development of oocytes.  They produce hyaluronan which is normally involved in cell adhesion, growth and development in the body and is found in the uterus during implantation. 

Co-culture of cumulus cells provides an opportunity to detoxify the embryo’s culture medium that the embryos are grown in and produce growth factors important for cell development. 

Performing co-culture of embryos has improved implantation and pregnancy rates as presented by us at the national meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in 2007. 

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about co-culture of embryos?

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