Purpose: Using different micropipettes for zona drilling and blastomere aspiration for embryo biopsy is prevalent at centers of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. The purpose of our study was to simplify the technique by using only one micropipette. Methods: In this animal model, ICR mouse embryos at the four-cell stage (n = 446) were randomly allocated into two groups: a biopsied group (n = 224)for blastomere aspiration and a control group (n = 222) without micromanipulation. We used a drilling/biopsy micropipette to drill a hole in the zona by expulsion of acidified Tyrode's solution and to aspirate the blastomere by gentle suction with the same micropipette and pull it out of the zona. One blastomere was biopsied from each embryo. Results: In all, 222 (99.1%) intact blastomeres were successfully biopsied from 224 embryos. Only two blastomeres were damaged during aspiration. The capacity for blastocyst development (92.4 vs 93.7%) was not different between the two groups, but the percentages of embryos hatching (51.8 vs 18.0%) and hatched (29.9 vs 8.1%) were significantly higher in the biopsied group than in the control group. Conclusions: This simplified technique of embryo biopsy is safe and highly efficient for obtaining blastomeres for preimplantation genetic diagnosis and may also facilitate hatching of the blastocysts.
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