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Reproductive Health
August 7th, 2018

Takeaways from Alpha 2018


Distinguished experts in IVF presented some of their latest research at the Alpha 2018 12th Biennial Conference from 17-20 May. About 400 attendees gathered in Reykjavik, Iceland, for presentations on sperm DNA fragmentation, mosaicism, mitochondria, cryobiology, effective lab design, and dietary considerations for IVF patients.

For those who could not attend, we summarized some of the key discussion points below:

Several lectures concerned the ongoing development of noninvasive technologies for embryo assessment. Denny Sakkas’ presentation, Which Biomarkers Look the Most Promising?, outlined a number of original methods of embryo selection, including fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. Gary Smith demonstrated the transport and analysis of media with microfluidic devices during his presentation, Lab on a Stick. David Gardner delivered an interesting presentation on epigenetics and embryo implantation during his lecture, Metaboloepigenetics.

The freeze-all strategy was the topic of a presentation by Zsolt Peter Nagy, whose conclusion was to implement it in every IVF cycle.

The Friday session concluded with Sharon Mortimer discussing the ALPHA Consensus Meeting, which focused on competency and the use of benchmark values to provide clinics with a measurement of their success. She said that if data is collected with defined key performance indicators and in a consistent manner, then market data will be more reliable and discussions more effective.

On Friday afternoon, Cook Medical held a symposium, Culture Oil Toxicity: A Critical Component of the Embryo Culture System. This session was chaired by Zuzanna Zejden, ART clinical specialist for Cook Medical, and presented by Dean Morbeck, scientific director of Fertility Associates, New Zealand. Dr. Morbeck presented much of his extensive work on the subject of culture oil and discussed the importance of using safe oil in IVF. He outlined primer composition; the causes and sources of oil toxicity, which included research from Otsuki et al. of Japan; testing for toxicity; mitigating risk; and practical considerations in the storage and handling of oil.

We thank all of you who came to our booth and symposium at Alpha 2018, and we look forward to meeting with you all again soon.

This summary of scientific discussion at ALPHA 2018 does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of Cook Medical.