PICSI: Physiological Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a laboratory procedure which helps infertile couples undergoing IVF in cases of severe male factor infertility. There is now an alternative to this standard ICSI procedure known as the PICSI procedure. Through PICSI an embryologist can determine sperm selection in the same manner as it happens inside the human body. In natural insemination, successful oocyte fertilisation can be achieved by a sperm that is capable of binding to a chemical substance (hyaluronan) present on the oocyte’s surface. This kind of interaction is only achieved by a mature sperm that has the biochemical capacity to bind to hyaluronan. PICSI is the technique that simulates the natural selection of mature sperm. In this procedure, the mature sperms are cultivated in a specially treated dish, in which a gel containing hyaluronan is applied. The sperms that are selected are then used for micro-manipulative fertilisation.