By Neus Ferrando Gilabert BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/30/2014

To perform a Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), it is necessary to use a cell from each embryo obtained with a cycle of in vitro fertilisation or ICSI.

Three days after follicular punctre and egg fertilisation by a spermatozoon, that is to say, when the embryo has divided into 6-8 cells, the PGD is performed.

Firstly, a hole is made in the pellucid zone (a.k.a. egg coat) using a laser or using hyaluronidase from the embryo, and then the cell or blastomere is aspirated.

PGD process

After that, a chromosomal analysis of the cell is performed at the genetics laboratory by means of a technique called FISH or with microarrays, a technique which allows a massive analysis of genetic disorders.

PGD is a complex technique used by expert biologists.

At this early stage of embryo development, its cells are totipotent stem cells, that is to say, they can differentiate into any cell in the human body until a whole organism is developed.

Thus, performing a biopsy on a cell from the embryo won’t cause any problem on its development, which will finish when a whole human being is formed.

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Authors and contributors

 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information
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