Physiological Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (PICSI) is a additional sperm selection tool in the treatment of ICSI. PICSI therefore involves injecting a sperm into a mature egg.
Hyaluronan is a naturally occurring protein that is found on the membrane surrounding the egg. PICSI refers to the use of a dish containing hyaluronan drops. Sperm are added to hyaluronan drops where mature and competent sperm will bind to the hyaluronan. Research shows that sperm that bind to hyaluronan have a lower probability of chromosomal abnormalities and higher DNA integrity. Sperm that express a positive reaction are selected for injection.
PICSI is suggested when there is:
- low fertilisation rate after ICSI
- compromised embryo development in previous cycles
- history of miscarriage
- high sperm DNA fragmentation