S. Caujolle, R. Cernat, G. Silvestri, M. J. Marques, Adrian Bradu, T. Feuchter, G. Robinson, D. K. Griffin, and Adrian Podoleanu
Speckle variance OCT for depth resolved assessment of the viability of bovine embryos, Biomed. Opt. Express 8, 5139-5150 (2017).
The morphology of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) is commonly used to estimate their viability. However, imaging by standard microscopy is subjective and unable to assess the embryo on a cellular scale after compaction. Optical coherence tomography is an imaging technique that can produce a depth-resolved profile of a sample and can be coupled with speckle variance (SV) to detect motion on a micron scale. In this study, day 7 post-IVF bovine embryos were observed either short-term (10 minutes) or long-term (over 18 hours) and analyzed by swept source OCT and SV to resolve their depth profile and characterize micron-scale movements potentially associated with viability. The percentage of en-face images showing movement at any given time was calculated as a method to detect the vital status of the embryo. This method could be used to measure the levels of damage sustained by an embryo, for example after cryopreservation, in a rapid and non-invasive way.