The First Children Born with Assisted Fertilization using a Sperm Robot
The first two babies were born using a robot that injects sperm into an egg during IVF, a cutting-edge procedure that could reduce the cost of an assisted reproductive procedure.
Engineers used a robotic needle to inject sperm into eggs at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, resulting in two healthy fetuses and eventually two girls, according to the MIT Technology Review.
Sperm injection robots, micro-cradles and space-flying eggs – meet the future of IVF. https://t.co/zxUly6oad1
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) April 25, 2023
All the first babies born with the help of a robot called “sperm injector robot” are not. This development of a startup 🇺🇸 Overture Life is the first stage of automation, as well as production reduction, in vitro fertilization. https://t.co/nDeh80G2ta.pic.twitter.com/7EfNhryBDj
— Aymeric Pontier (@aympontier) April 26, 2023
According to the report, the birth boom is due to the use of a remote-controlled needle and a chamber to pierce an egg in a petri dish, which could eliminate the need for highly paid embryologists.
A Spanish startup has created a sperm injection robot that can be controlled using a PlayStation 5 controller. The team has successfully used it to fertilize human eggs. One of the engineers working on the world’s first insemination robot had no experience in fertility medicine, which required PlayStation 5 certification.
Using a console, the engineer operated a tiny, automated needle to inject sperm into human eggs.
While engineers still have to manually load sperm onto injection needles, the technology represents a gradual step towards fully automating the process, experts say.
Santiago Muni, chief geneticist at Overture Life, the Spanish company that developed the sperm robot, said the technology could one day save patients from having to visit a fertility clinic, where a single attempt at conception can cost $20,000 in the US.
Mooney believes that someday the process of fertilization could happen automatically and be performed by a gynecologist, but he did not explain how multiple eggs could be cultured and retrieved at this stage.
Overture Life has applied for a patent describing an IVF lab “biochip” that has hidden reservoirs containing growth fluids and small channels through which sperm can swim.
It is worth noting that every year around 500,000 children are born in the world with the help of IVF, but most people who need help in conceiving children cannot pay for the procedure or cannot receive fertility drugs.
Some fertility experts are skeptical that robots will cut costs, given that they do not solve the problem of egg aging, which is one of the main causes of failure in fertility treatments.
In the case of the first babies born with a robotic sperm, according to the MIT Technology Review, eggs from a donor were donated to patients and implanted in the mother’s uterus after high-tech fertilization.
In general, many fertility experts agreed that the use of IVF robots in the future is inevitable.
Source: New York Post.
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