Monash IVF Group Annual Report 2021

Research and Innovation

Monash IVF Group is committed to pioneering research and innovation to ensure that patient outcomes are continually improving.

Monash Research and Education Foundation in conjunction with the Group Scientific Advisory Committee (GSAC), Chaired by A/Prof Deirdre Zander‑Fox, have continued to drive research and innovation by providing financial support and internal scientific expertise to undertake studies in the areas of failed implantation, miscarriage, fertility preservation and sperm selection. A major accomplishment for FY21 has been to foster a scientific workforce that is engaged in scientific research to advance our knowledge to continually optimise treatment outcomes.

In FY21, notably three projects in the expanding research and innovation portfolio have advanced considerably:

  1. Further advancement in the PIEZO microinjection technology occurred, with a publication of the initial trial as an Australian first, coupled with ongoing second-phase clinical trial recruitment. The article “PIEZO-ICSI increases fertilization rates compared with standard ICSI: a prospective cohort study” (https://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(21)00279-0/fulltext#:~:text=Results,0.003)%20compare) was published in the Reproductive BioMedicine Online (RBMO) platform.
  2. Development and optimisation of a novel sperm separation device in collaboration with Memphasys Ltd occurred, as their key opinion leader in Australia. This collaboration is set to move to clinical trial phase in FY22.
  3. Identification and confirmation of a novel marker of implantation in collaboration with RMIT, resulting in scientific publication and significant media interest. Further investment will see a clinical trial begin to validate its use as a diagnostic test.

Alongside these projects, a focus of FY21 was the publication of numerous internal research and innovation studies including those on:

  • Health and fertility of ICSI-conceived young men
  • Improvements in fertilisation and embryo yield using PIEZO microinjection technology
  • Sperm diagnostics and the importance of measuring sperm DNA damage
  • Use of male nutraceuticals to improve IVF outcome
  • Embryo grading and links to IVF outcome
  • Efficiency of psychological interventions on IVF pregnancy outcomes

Monash IVF Group successfully partnered with Monash University to be awarded NHMRC funding on a project ‘Mitigating the risk of Mitochondrial Donation’.

Moving forward, the Monash IVF Group, with our growing number of academic and commercial partners, have an increasing number of scientific studies in which our patients are currently being recruited into.