The Section on Implantation and Oocyte Physiology, led by Alan DeCherney, has been working on the regulation of blasotcyst development using the in vitro fertilization (IVF) approach with both mouse and primate animal models. The Section is investigating pre- and peri-implanation embryos signaling pathways that regulate oxygen levels, growth factors, and extracellular matrix. Work also continues on a non-invasive method to obtain fetal cells that migrate into the cervical canal during the first trimester, which will make it easier to distinguish a blighted embryo from normal pregnancy and ectopic pregnancies. This single-cell investigation will permit earlier and more sophisticated prenatal diagnosis than is currently available.
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