Definition - What does Blastomere mean?
A blastomere is a cell that is created by the early stages of division of a fertilized egg. During in vitro fertilization (IVF), blastomeres are used for a series of important procedures, including embryo grading and blastomere biopsy.
FertilitySmarts explains Blastomere
Blastomeres are created in the first stage of embryonic development when the fertilized egg transitions from one cell to 2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, and 16-cell variants through a process called cell division. These divisions are called cleavage divisions, and the cells created by each cleavage stage are called blastomeres.
During IVF procedures, blastomeres are evaluated through a process called embryo grading. The embryo grading process allows scientists and physicians to determine how embryos are developing and which are the most appropriate for transfer for the uterus. This procedure is completed to increase the chance of a successful IVF round. Embryo grading is a standard component of an IVF procedure.
Blastomeres are also used for the blastomere biopsy, also known as an embryo biopsy. This procedure is performed as part of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) on a 3-day old embryo, involving scientific testing during stage 4, 6 and 8 cells. The blastomere biopsy can indicate if chromosome abnormalities or genetic defects are present in the developing embryo. This is a voluntary procedure that is typically only conducted if the embryos are considered at risk for adverse conditions, based on maternal age, previous pregnancy history, and parental health conditions.