The First Babies Conceived With A Sperm-Injecting Robot Have Been Born
Experts say the cutting-edge procedure could significantly lower the cost of In vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the future.
In a ground-breaking development, the first-ever babies conceived with a sperm-injecting robot have been born. According to MIT's Technology Review, a team of engineers from Barcelona, Spain used a robotic needle to insert sperm cells into eggs at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City. The procedure resulted in two healthy embryos and ultimately two baby girls.
As per the report, one of the engineers working on the world's first insemination robot didn't have much experience in the field of fertility medicine.
''One of the engineers, with no real experience in fertility medicine, used a Sony PlayStation 5 controller to position a robotic needle. Eyeing a human egg through a camera, it then moved forward on its own, penetrating the egg and dropping off a single sperm cell,'' the report says.
The resulting healthy embryos have led to the birth of two baby girls, who are the first people born after fertilisation by a robot, the MIT Technology Review stated.
Experts say the cutting-edge procedure could significantly lower the cost of In vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The startup company that developed the robot, Overture Life, said its device is an initial step toward automating IVF, potentially making the procedure less expensive and far more common.
Currently, IVF labs require expensive and trained embryologists who handle eggs and sperm using ultra-thin hollow needles under a microscope. The procedure is delicate, lengthy, and labour-intensive. Around 5,00,000 children are born through IVF each year, but many people don't have access to fertility medicine or can't afford it.
''The technology could one day eliminate the need for patients to visit a fertility clinic, where a single attempt at getting pregnant can cost $20,000 in the US'', said Santiago Munne, chief geneticist of Overture Life, which developed the sperm robot.
''Think of a box where sperm and eggs go in, and an embryo comes out five days later,'' he added.