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Genetics Device

Problem: Genetics & IVF Institute of Ohio is a fertility clinic that is involved in in-vitro fertilization.  At present it has a 40 percent success rate.  While this success rate ranks it with the top clinics in the country, there is interest in finding ways to improve the process.  One of the areas of concern is ultraviolet and near-ultraviolet (UV) light coming from the light source used to illuminate the microscope work area.  Energy in this wavelength is known to cause cell damage and could cause damage to the ovum and sperm being united under the microscope.  Ultraviolet filters are presently being used to block this light.  The manufacturer suggests the filter can eliminate 100% of UV light.  However this has never been proven by Genetics and IVF.


Solution:

Representatives from Wright Technology Network (WTN) and experts in optics from Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/ML) visited Genetics to observe their process.  AFRL experts agreed to conduct UV transmission tests on the optical filters presently using information derived from the results of the Sunburn Cells Study.  Sunburn Cells is a study on the effect of UV light on single cells.  The results from teh test and evaluation will determine if the UV filters presently being used are adequate to protect the reproductive cells.  If they are not, a recommendation will be made for replacement filters.

Benefits:

  • Genetic's fertilization success rate could possibly be improved.
  • Using the proper filters will eliminate the possibility of genetic damage being done to the embryo by exposure to UV light.

Current Status:

  • UV transmission tests have been performed on the optical filters currently being used. 
  • Results of the Sunburn Cells study have been obtained.
  • Evaluation of the transmission tests are being conducted.
  • A report containing the results of the evaluation, and possible recommendations for replacement filters, is in process by an AFRL/ML scientist.

If you have any questions about this Technical Assistance Project or are interested in getting more information about Wright Technology Network and technology transfer, please contact Jim Singer (937) 253-0217 or crada@wtn.org.

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