Are we approaching automated assisted reproductive technology? Sperm analysis, Oocyte manipulation and insemination.

Casciani V, Galliano D, Franasiak JM, Mariani G, Meseguer M
F&S Reviews. Mar. 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.xfnr.2021.03.002
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Assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures are mostly performed manually and require meticulous attention to details and precision in handling and timing. Automation of ART procedures would allow achieving standardization and reducing performance variability, the cost of medical treatment, and the risk of human error. Some ART diagnostic devices are already available and offer objective tools of evaluation. However, automation of the entire spectrum of ART procedures is yet to come and can only be imagined as a platform capable of integrating all the separate technologies, successfully interconnecting them to guarantee a continued chain of custody of the gametes and embryos. The present update seeks to review the current potential for automation within the in vitro fertilization laboratory, with attention to sperm and oocyte manipulation and selection and to oocyte insemination with standard in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. An electronic search of PubMed was performed to identify articles in English that addressed automation in ART. Studies were classified in categories as randomized controlled trials, prospective controlled trials, prospective noncontrolled trials, retrospective studies, and experimental studies. Research and development data from the authors are included.