PICSI is a new micro-manipulative technique which is the only one to allow the selection of sperm based on its functional quality.
Sperm is placed in a Petri dish containing hyaluronan hydrogel. For an intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the embryologist selects only embryos bound to hyaluronan.
Fig. In the PICSI method sperm for fertilization is selected based on the functional
quality of its binding to hyaluronan.
Hyaluronate is a mucopolysaccharide, which occurs naturally as a part of the extracellular matrix of the cumulus cells surrounding the egg. To enable the sperm to successfully penetrate and fertilize the egg naturally it must be able to bind to the hyaluronan. However, only mature, biochemically competent sperm is able to bind to the hyaluronan. Scientific research has proved that hyaluronan-bound sperm has better morphology, statistically fewer chromosomal aneuploidies and higher DNA integrity.
The advantage of the PISCI method is the objective selection of sperm according to its functional quality. It is important to realize that the selected sperm is essentially the same as one that would be successful in the natural reproductive process. When embryologists select the sperm using only visual observation, defects such as immature sperm, chromosomal aneuploidies or DNA damage cannot be detected. So, if it is suspected that there may be sperm with such defects in the spermatoza, fertilizing the eggs using the PICSI method is recommended.
Fig. PICSI in practice
Sanatorium Helios has several years of experience with the PICSI method and therefore a doctor may recommend this method to you, especially when a man has been diagnosed with a higher rate of damaged DNA sperm, a woman undergoing the IVF treatment is over 38, the ICSI method has failed in some of the previous cycles (concerning the egg fertilization or further development of embryos) or the couple have had a history of repeated miscarriages.