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Austin, TX, United States

Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is focused on developing an innovative algorithm for non-invasive bovine embryo viability assessment using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). Assisted reproductive technologies have been developed by the livestock industry to obtain large numbers of offspring from genetically superior animals. Embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT or cloning) could play a central role in cattle production systems by impacting the rates of genetic improvement and efficient dissemination of superior genotypes. Broad-based implementation of these techniques is limited by the inability to select high quality embryos using current subjective visual assessment. The availability of a quantitative embryo selection method able to distinguish the subtle differences that separate a healthy pre-implantation embryo from a poorly performing one would greatly increase the overall efficiency of IVF and SCNT technologies. The research objectives of this project are: identify the differences in NIR spectral characteristics from spent media resulting from embryo culture of viable and non-viable embryos; develop an algorithmic model using the NIR spectral characteristics; and demonstrate that this algorithm can improve embryo selection accuracy, increasing pregnancy rate by at least 50% compared to the current morphological assessment.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project would be greater utilization of in vitro reproductive technologies by cattle breeders, which would have enormous impact on genetic improvement and reproductive management. Currently, a quantitative embryo assessment method in livestock is not available. If successful, the proposed innovative approach will increase pregnancy and calving rates by 50% compared to the present level and reduce the cost of a SCNT calf by $7,500. Reduced cost could substantially increase the technology utilization with a potential financial value of over $350 million. Additionally, the annual economic impact could exceed $100 million in dairy IVF in the U.S. alone. A successful result also will have a significant impact on herd health and help the livestock industry produce more offspring using fewer recipients, which will reduce pressure on the environment, decrease per unit climate emissions and land use, and meet future global nutritional needs. Such efforts will contribute to food security and improve the social and economic well-being of rural communities. The NIR spectral data from the project could lead to discoveries that enhance the scientific understanding of early embryogenesis and drive further progress in reproductive technology.


Trademark
ViaGen Inc. | Date: 2008-05-15

Mammalian embryos; cloned embryos of mammalian animals; live mammalian animals; cloned mammalian animals. Biological cloning services, namely, cloning of mammalian animals.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is focused on developing an innovative algorithm for non-invasive bovine embryo viability assessment using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). Assisted reproductive technologies have been developed by the livestock industry to obtain large numbers of offspring from genetically superior animals. Embryos produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT or cloning) could play a central role in cattle production systems by impacting the rates of genetic improvement and efficient dissemination of superior genotypes. Broad-based implementation of these techniques is limited by the inability to select high quality embryos using current subjective visual assessment. The availability of a quantitative embryo selection method able to distinguish the subtle differences that separate a healthy pre-implantation embryo from a poorly performing one would greatly increase the overall efficiency of IVF and SCNT technologies. The research objectives of this project are: identify the differences in NIR spectral characteristics from spent media resulting from embryo culture of viable and non-viable embryos; develop an algorithmic model using the NIR spectral characteristics; and demonstrate that this algorithm can improve embryo selection accuracy, increasing pregnancy rate by at least 50% compared to the current morphological assessment. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project would be greater utilization of in vitro reproductive technologies by cattle breeders, which would have enormous impact on genetic improvement and reproductive management. Currently, a quantitative embryo assessment method in livestock is not available. If successful, the proposed innovative approach will increase pregnancy and calving rates by 50% compared to the present level and reduce the cost of a SCNT calf by $7,500. Reduced cost could substantially increase the technology utilization with a potential financial value of over $350 million. Additionally, the annual economic impact could exceed $100 million in dairy IVF in the U.S. alone. A successful result also will have a significant impact on herd health and help the livestock industry produce more offspring using fewer recipients, which will reduce pressure on the environment, decrease per unit climate emissions and land use, and meet future global nutritional needs. Such efforts will contribute to food security and improve the social and economic well-being of rural communities. The NIR spectral data from the project could lead to discoveries that enhance the scientific understanding of early embryogenesis and drive further progress in reproductive technology.


Polejaeva I.A.,Utah State University | Broek D.M.,ViaGen Inc. | Walker S.C.,ViaGen Inc. | Zhou W.,ViaGen Inc. | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reproductive performance in cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is significantly different from that of their genetic donors. To address this question, we directed two longitudinal studies using different embryo production procedures: (1) superovulation followed by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo collection and (2) ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF). Collectively, these two studies represent the largest data set available for any species on the reproductive performance of female clones and their genetic donors as measured by their embryo production outcomes in commercial embryo production program. The large-scale study described herein was conducted over a six-year period of time and provides a unique comparison of 96 clones to the 40 corresponding genetic donors. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study on the reproductive performance of cattle clones using OPU-IVF. With nearly 2,000 reproductive procedures performed and more than 9,200 transferable embryos produced, our observations show that the reproductive performance of cattle produced by SCNT is not different compared to their genetic donors for the production of transferable embryos after either AI followed by embryo collection ( P = 0.77) or OPU-IVF (P = 0.97). These data are in agreement with previous reports showing that the reproductive capabilities of cloned cattle are equal to that of conventionally produced cattle. In conclusion, results of this longitudinal study once again demonstrate that cloning technology, in combination with superovulation, AI and embryo collection or OPU-IVF, provides a valuable tool for faster dissemination of superior maternal genetics. © 2013 Polejaeva et al. Source


Trademark
ViaGen Inc. | Date: 2008-10-14

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