Ovation News

Four IVF Advances That Changed Reproductive Medicine

Ovation Fertility™ Newport Beach lab director highlights “most productive and creative period” of IVF

Mitchel C. Schiewe, Ph.D., Ovation Fertility Newport Beach laboratory director, recently published a review paper about the development of assisted reproductive technology, ART, and the four technologies that changed the IVF industry.

  1. Genetic testing of preimplantation embryos
  2. Vitrification
  3. Lasers in ART
  4. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection

According to Dr. Schiewe, “The purpose of this review paper is to discuss 4 key scientific breakthrough technologies occurring between 1985 and 1995, which ultimately shaped the future of today’s human in vitro fertilization, IVF, industry.”

The Ovation Fertility™ lab director views the time period as “the most productive and creative period of technological advancement in mammalian embryology.”

The evolution of IVF

Not only does Dr. Schiewe discuss the years between 1985 and 1995, but he also goes further back in time, prior to the birth of IVF, to review the historical roots of ART. For example, in the late 19th century, the concept of ART was born when Sir Walter Heape succeeded in transplanting rabbit embryos. Interestingly, the concept of mammalian embryo research didn’t resurface again until the late 1940s and 1950s.

Dr. Schiewe adds that some discoveries have been accidental, such as when Dr. Chris Polge discovered an effective cryoprotectant agent for sperm freezing after using a mislabeled bottle of sugar solution … the mystery was solved when it was found to be “glycerin,” a common tissue fixative at that time.

Everyone makes mistakes, but not all mistakes change the field of reproductive medicine.

More than a history lesson

However, the review paper is not merely meant to serve as a history lesson. Dr. Schiewe hopes that his paper demonstrates “the value of understanding scientific discovery timetables” and the importance of “creative vision, determination and dedicated efforts of scientists with a passion to ask questions, take chances and learn through experimentation.”

In this story-filled mini review paper, Dr. Schiewe conveys interesting facts leading up to the discovery of the four prominent ART procedures and the way their developments were inter-related with the achievement of today’s improved success with infertility treatment.

If you’d like to read Dr. Schiewe’s review paper, you can find it in the Journal of Fertilization, “In Vitro – IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology.”

About Dr. Mitchel C. Schiewe

Dr. Schiewe is the high-complexity laboratory director at Ovation Fertility™ Newport Beach. Over the last three decades, he has helped IVF labs worldwide protect and transfer embryos in the blastocyst stage and improve pregnancy rates. Dr. Schiewe has published more than 35 peer-reviewed papers and 115 abstracts. He also serves as a journal reviewer for Fertility and Sterility and Nature. For more information about Dr. Schiewe and his work, please visit www.ovationfertility.com.


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