• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

In Vitro Fertilization

  • By: Maria Giakoumopoulos
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

IN VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF) involves the combination of an unfertilized oocyte and spermatozoa in a Petri dish to allow fertilization to occur. Subsequent cleavage of the newly formed zygote can be supported in vitro by various culture conditions. Transfer of embryos into the uterus has resulted in pregnancy and live births in many mammalian species. Embryos cultured to the blastocyst stage have provided a source for embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have the capacity to renew and to differentiate into many cells of the body, a term known as potency. Therefore, in vitro fertilization provides a clinical application for infertility issues as well as a research avenue to understand early development.

Although the process of reproduction has been of interest to both science and philosophy ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles