Harley Street Fertility Centre
Roger Simons, Registered Clinical Scientist, Chief Embryologist
ZILOS and Assisted Hatching
The Harley Street Fertility Centre, located in London, provides the latest technological advances in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. The Centre has had particular success with older patients, those 40 years of age and over, and with patients who have had repeated implantation failure.
Roger Simons, Chief Embryologist at the Harley Street Fertility Centre, attributes the success of the Centre, in part, to the ZILOS.
Before the Centre began using the ZILOS, they were using an acid medium to dissolve a small part of the embryo shell. However, the ZILOS has allowed the Centre to move to a more sophisticated technique; instead of actually piercing the embryo, they thin its shell. This is called the zona thinning method. Simons says, “Since we have been using the zona thinning method, we have achieved a pregnancy rate of 35% with a difficult group of patients. Before, our success rate was in the range of 15-20%. The ZILOS is essential to our success with the zona thinning method; it allows very precise and measured thinning of the shell of the embryo.” In addition, with this “no touch” technique, the risk of infection to the embryo is removed. It is the safest method for assisted hatching.
Simons also is impressed with the ZILOS’ ease of use. He says,“ it is very easy to set up and largely cuts out operator-to-operator variation. The software package is also a big plus allowing easy storage of data and pictures. The measurement of a number of parameters such as zona thickness, embryo size and thinned area is also very quick and easy and recorded alongside other data. Targeting and firing are also accurate and easy with extremely repeatable results and the heat penetration rings are also very reassuring.”
With over 30 years experience in the fertility field, Simons knows what he is talking about. In fact, he was a key member of the group which established the first pregnancy and live birth following the cryopreservation of a human embryo. Simons, who is responsible for the day to day operations of the Centre, had a trial run of the ZILOS in the laboratory in 2001. Impressed by the ZILOS performance and driven by the desire to provide the highest quality of care available, Harley Street Fertility was one of the first centres to use the ZILOS for assisted hatching in the United Kingdom.
Of Hamilton Thorne Research, Simon notes that, the “customer service and care has been very good with help and advice always available at the end of the phone.”