The Nordic IVF-Laboratory Society (NILS)

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The Nordic IVF-Laboratory Society (NILS)

The Nordic IVF-Laboratory Society, commonly called NILS, was founded in the 1990s. The main objective of the society is to serve as a platform for Nordic laboratory professionals within the field of reproductive medicine. This aim is met by arranging scientific meetings every second year, with the Nordic countries talking turns as hosts.

Their ultimate research goal is to develop a non-invasive method that can be used to assess embryo viability and select the best embryo to transfer back to the uterus. It has been hypothesized that microRNAs molecules (miRNAs) secreted from human IVF embryos into their surrounding culture media may be potential biomarkers of embryo viability and IVF success. These short non-coding RNA molecules act by repressing gene expression and influence many fundamental biological processes such as differentiation, development, cell proliferation and apoptosis. Evidence also suggests that secretion of these molecules in small carriers, primarily exosomes, may play an important role in the cross talk occurring between the embryo and the endometrium. If so, analyzing the array of microRNA molecules secreted by an embryo may help to predict what chance an embryo has of implanting. Through accurate prediction they can identify viable embryos to transfer and avoid those with very little chance of resulting in a successful outcome.

There are two major aims of their research project: The first aim is to determine if implanting and non-implanting embryos exhibit a different profile of microRNA molecules. If this is the case, their second aim will be to identify a group of microRNAs that they can consider to be of most predictive value and quantify these levels in the spent embryo culture media. Their research efforts will help identify possible targets that aid non-invasive identification of viable embryos. Furthermore, they hope that their project will contribute to new knowledge regarding the genetic and molecular basis of embryo implantation.

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