Embryo transfer (ET) is the last stage of extracorporal fertilization during which the embryo is placed in the uterine cavity with a medium-filled catheter 2–3 days after in vitro fertilization. While fertilization in the laboratory occurs at very high rates (>:90%), the overall success of the procedure (i.e., take home baby) is still very low (<25%) and assumed to be mainly due to implantation failure. A computational model was developed to simulate ET within the uterine cavity by a fluid-filled catheter inserted into a two-dimensional channel with oscillating walls. The results showed that the speed at which the embryos are injected from the catheter dominates the procedure and controls the velocity of their transport within the uterine cavity. ET at excessively high injection speeds may lead to ectopic pregnancies, while uterine peristalsis affects transverse dispersion only during injection at low injection speeds. The presence of the catheter within the uterus does not affect flow patterns downstream of its tip. The potential risks to implantation failure due to mechanical factors involved in the ET processes are discussed. © 2003 Biomedical Engineering Society.
PAC2003: 8719-j, 8710+e
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