Along with standard morphological indicators of preimplantation embryo development, information gained from novel “Omics” platforms is providing more detailed functional characterizations of embryo phenotype. Since embryo metabolism is a critical driver of development and implantation, it is proposed that analysis of the embryo metabolome may reveal several physiologically relevant markers. Metabolomics analysis is currently showing significant promise in this context, providing a systematic method of screening for low molecular weight metabolic by-products, in isolated cell extracts and biological fluids. Correlations between in vitro development and pregnancy outcomes have already been described after retrospective data comparison with metabolomic profiles. This article summarizes progress and current findings of metabolomic analysis as a new and complimentary technology for screening embryo cohorts in clinical IVF, to facilitate prognostic selection of a single embryo for transfer.
Keywords: Implantation rate, metabolomics, pregnancy, preimplantation embryo, viability
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