Research

The following is the link to the Facebook page for the MSc course.  It contains up-to-date information about the course and to reproductive medicine.  

https://www.facebook.com/mscembryologyassistedconception

The following papers have recently been published:

  • Preimplantation genetic screening – 23 years to navigate and translate into the clinical arena – We need a new roadmap! http://molehr.gaw035.full.pdf
  • Depolarization of sperm membrane potential is a common feature of men with subfertility and is associated with low fertilization rate at IVF   http://humrep.dew056.full.pdf 
  • Bjorndahl L, Barratt CL, Mortimer D, Jouannet P.  ‘How to count sperm properly’.  Hum Reprod. 2016 Feb;31(2);227-32.
  • Barratt CL.  Is there a robust future for research in reproduction?  Mol Hum Reprod 2016 Jan;22(1):1-2
  • Fernandes G, Dasai N, Kozlova N, Mojadadi A, Gall M, Drew E, Barratt E, Madamidola OA, Brown SG, Milne AM, Martins da Silva SJ, Whalley KM, Barratt CL, Jovanovic A.  ‘A spontaneous increase in intracellular Ca2+ in metaphase II human oocytes in vitro can be prevented by drugs targeting ATP-sensitive K+ channels.   Hum Reprod. 2016 Feb; 31(2):287-97

 Donating eggs for research

We have an active research programme taking place within the ACU and alongside Dundee University . Each project is approved by the local ethics committee and we are licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

You will have the opportunity to indicate whether you would like to find out more about our research. If we give you further information on these projects, or meet with you to discuss them, you are under no obligation to take part, and it is very important that you understand your decision will not affect your fertility treatment, now or in the future. Should you wish to take part in any of these studies, your anonymity and confidentiality will be assured.

Details on the following projects can be found on the notice board in the waiting area of the ACU, and information sheets are available from reception.  Here are links to recent published papers;

hannah

 mythili

PDEi paper

HRU proofs

Alasmari et al 2013 in press

bj4480189

DES467

Donating eggs for research “Investigating ion channels in human oocytes”

Aims of our research: the aim of our research is to improve our understanding of the structure, regulation and function of ion channels (protein structures) present in the membrane of human eggs.

We would like to use any eggs which are unsuitable for your treatment because they are immature or have failed to fertilise, and which would otherwise be discarded.

Donating sperm for research

“Understanding the regulation of sperm function”
Aims of our research: the aim of our research is to further understand the mechanisms whereby sperm are able to fertilise eggs.

At egg collection, we would like to use the surplus part of the sperm sample. We may also ask if a further sperm sample could be produced for research at a later date, if this is a possibility.

The human sperm has to undergo a momentous journey on its quest to reach and fertilise the egg. Key to success is the ability to move and alter that motility to adapted to different environments within the female reproductive tract, many of which are aimed to weed out slow moving sperm from reaching the egg. Therefore human sperm reply on signals from the female reproductive tract that to tell them when to swim harder/faster and potentially even where to go. Communication between the female reproductive tract and the sperm cells is facilitated by the movement of ions such as sodium, potassium and calcium through openings on the sperm’s surface called ion channels. Up till recently we have been unable to assess the activity of these ion channels due to the size and native properties of human sperm. However, a technique called patch clamping has been developed (illustrated in the attached video that allows us direct access into the inner workings of how these ion channels aid in normal sperm function. Our aim at Dundee is to understand how these ion channels help sperm reach and fertilise the egg as well as understanding how damage to these channels can lead to male infertility. As a result we hope research into ion channels in human sperm can lead to safe and effective drugs to improve sperm motility and reduce the need for invasive treatments such as IVF or ICSI.

HAB SELECT TRIAL

We are taking part in a new multicentre trial (the HAB Select study), hoping to find out whether a new way of selecting sperm for ICSI increases the chance of pregnancy and/or decreases the chance of miscarriage.  The HAB (Hyaluronan binding) study will look at the differences between sperm which can bind to HA and sperm that cannot, using a special ‘PICSI’ dish which has spots of HA on the surface.  This dish allows us to choose the sperm that bind to HA, so they can be used in ICSI treatment. 

If you are having ICSI, you may be asked if you are happy to take part in this trial and will be given a patient information leaflet and a consent form.  Patients who join the trial will be allocated randomly into one of two groups.  One group will use a PICSI dish, the other will not.  You will not be able to find out which group you have been placed into until the trial has ended in a few years’ time.  To find out more, visit the HAB Select website at http://www.habselect.org.uk

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