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Egg Collection Technology (IVF)

Egg Collection Technology (IVF)

Quote Ref: KT122349-W

The Challenge

Egg quality is believed to be the main determinant of embryo outcome in in vitro fertilization (IVF), however the developmental potential of the egg can easily be damaged by the culture environment, e.g. temperature, pH and toxic factors in the air. Therefore, there is a need to provide an environment that mimics human physiological conditions as closely as possible to maximise the potential of every egg to make a baby.

The Solution

Newcastle University has developed a device that provides an enclosed system for egg collection. It keeps eggs in an airtight chamber attached to a pump which maintains a constant flow of fluid over the eggs, thereby maintaining physiological pH, reducing the risk of contamination and maintaining eggs at body temperature during transfer to the laboratory.

This device enables the collection of more eggs at higher quality because they are more protected from damage. The ideal media for maintaining the eggs is currently being ascertained.

The Opportunity

A grant has been secured to further develop the product. A multi-centre clinical trial in collaboration with Labman Automation Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Maetrics began on 01/07/2016 and is due to report by 30/06/2019.

We are interested in out-licensing the technology and/or identifying collaborative industrial partners. The chamber and pump combination are suitable for human use and we are exploring the utility of the device in veterinary IVF.

Intellectual Property

This technology is protected by patent applications filed in US, Japan, UK, Canada, Australia, China, Brazil, North Korea and India.

Title: IVF egg collection chamber
UK patent application no: GB201309766
Filing Date: 31st May 2013; entered the National Phase on 6th January 2016
Applicant: Labman Automation Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Newcastle upon Tyne


Dr Catrina Mullan, Enterprise Team, Research & Enterprise Services, Newcastle University, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH