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DNA contamination from cumulus cells surrounding the egg or from unsuccessful sperm can contaminate PGD samples and result in misdiagnosis.
Fertilisation with ICSI involves careful removal of the cumulus cells followed by injection of a single sperm, thereby greatly reducing the risk of contamination.
Watch the ICSI video
Fertilised eggs are identified by the presence of pronuclei on day 1.
On day 3 of culture, the envelope enclosing the embryo (zona pellucida) is breached using a low power laser.
Watch the assisted hatching video
The embryo grows to form a blastocyst - a clump of cells (inner cell mass) inside a hollow ball of trophectoderm cells.
The expanding blastocyst (now 120-150 cells) hatches through the weakness that was created in the zona on day 3.
Watch the embryo biopsy video - day 5 hatching blastocyst
Watch the embryo biopsy video - day 6 full hatched blastocyst
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