A groundbreaking milestone has been achieved in assisted reproductive technology with the birth of the first babies conceived through robot-assisted conception. This remarkable development highlights the potential of robotics and automation in transforming healthcare. In this blog post, we’ll explore the details of this achievement, the technology involved, and its implications for the future of fertility treatments. Join us as we delve into the fascinating convergence of robotics and human reproduction.
The future of IVF may be one step closer to becoming automated, as reported by MIT Technology Review. A team of engineers successfully used a robot to inject sperm into human eggs, resulting in the birth of two babies conceived through this process.
Engineers in Barcelona designed the sperm-injecting robot and shipped it to New York City’s New Hope Fertility Center for testing. Upon reassembling the robot at the clinic, they controlled it using a PlayStation 5 controller to inject single sperm into the eggs.
The robot was utilized to fertilize over a dozen eggs, leading to healthy embryos and eventually the birth of two baby girls. This achievement could represent a significant step towards the automation of IVF.
The IVF industry currently consists of multi-million-dollar laboratories staffed by skilled specialists. This level of staffing can make IVF attempts cost up to $20,000 in the United States. However, simpler systems could potentially reduce these costs significantly.
This is where the concept of automated IVF comes in. The startup responsible for this recent success, Overture, is not the only one making progress in the field. Yet, they have raised more funds for their objectives than any other company.
Approximately 500,000 children are born through IVF worldwide each year. Nevertheless, the high cost of IVF procedures prevents many from accessing the necessary medical care or financial resources. An automated, desktop-based system could revolutionize access to IVF treatments.
From robots that can self-destruct after gathering intelligence to those that can automate IVF, we are witnessing the vast potential of automated machines.
While the technology currently requires human intervention, it is expected to evolve over time. It will be fascinating to see where engineers like those at Overture take this groundbreaking innovation in the future.