Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (PICSI) – while standard ICSI increases the chances of successful fertilization, PICSI takes this a step further, by allowing the embryologist to choose the best quality, most mature sperm.
With this technique, the sperm are introduced to hyaluronan (HA) hydrogel in the lab. This mimics the natural encounter sperm would typically have to HA in a woman’s cervix, where the sperm must penetrate the cervical mucus in order for fertilization to occur.
With PICSI, the embryologist is able to recreate these conditions by adding HA to the dish the sample of sperm has been placed in. The sperm that bind to the HA are then selected by the embryologist for ICSI, as studies have shown there is better embryo development when sperm bound to HA were used.