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Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center

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3000 IVF Cycles Reached with Help of ZILOS-tk®

As the Laboratories Manager for Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center, James Graham knows what it takes to help patients win the infertility battle. Shady Grove, one of the most successful fertility programs in the country, has 9 locations throughout the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, with its IVF laboratory located in Rockville, MD. This year alone, Graham estimates that over 3,000 fresh IVF cycles will be performed, and says “we could not imagine managing this number of patients without the help of our 3 ZILOS-tk® laser systems.”

Shady Grove initially chose the ZILOS-tk® over competitive systems due to its relative ease of use and safety. Graham particularly likes “the fact that you can just sit down and use the system without any setup” (other than confirming the target location).

“It’s a big time saver. More importantly, we can select the laser pulse time to minimize any heat transfer to the embryo,”

James Graham, M.S.
Laboratories Director
James Graham, M.S., Laboratories Director
Michael Tucker, Ph.D., Off Site Director
Taer Han, B.S., Embryology Laboratory Supervisor

Before being introduced to the ZILOS-tk® by MidAtlantic Diagnostics, Inc., Shady Grove used acidified Tyrode’s solution (ATS) to perform assisted hatching and embryo biopsy. Graham found using ATS to be both subjective and variable, and it required involved training. This is not the case with the ZILOS-tk. When asked how the ZILOS-tk® has helped in their lab, Graham replied, “I think the biggest improvement is from a safety perspective. The use of the ZILOS-tk® has virtually eliminated the variability between embryologists. The protocol using the laser to breach the zona can be followed more consistently.” 

Shady Grove not only uses the ZILOS-tk® in their clinical practice, but they also have used the ZILOS-tk® for several research projects. They have presented numerous abstracts at the 2004 and 2005 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Meetings, and currently have several papers pending publication.

In addition to Graham, Michael Tucker, Ph.D., Off Site Director, and Taer Han, B.S., Embryology Laboratory Supervisor, are proponents of the ZILOS-tk. When the ZILOS-tk® received initial marketing clearance for clinical laser-assisted hatching Dr. Tucker said, “The ZILOS-tk® system has proven itself to me and my colleagues time and again as the easiest and most effective tool for breaching the zona pellucida. Long-term experience within our labs has shown clearly that it is not only fast and user-friendly, but also “embryo-friendly.”

Graham also gives high marks to Hamilton Thorne for customer support. “I think HT has done a great job for us. When they could not answer my questions directly, they always got back to me in a timely manner and always followed up after system service to make sure everything was running smoothly.”