The intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure involves injecting sperm into a mature egg to assist in the fertilization process. To begin, the embryologist prepares a sterile ICSI dish with a microdrop of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), a viscous media designed to slow sperm motility so they are easier to locate before injection into the egg. In the same dish, (s)he also prepares multiple drops of standard micromanipulation media so multiple eggs can be prepared. A protective cover of oil is then applied to keep the media warm and prevent the drops from evaporating.
Next, the embryologist completes a micromanipulation setup by aligning a holding pipette and ICSI needle with the microscope. An ICSI dish is prepared and labeled, and the sperm sample and eggs are both double-verified against the patients’ paperwork.
Using a microscope and two 3D joysticks, the embryologist then places a small sample of the processed sperm in the PVP drop and moves the eggs to the dish. (S)he uses the ICSI needle and pipette to isolate and immobilize the normal-looking sperm before depositing it into the individual egg. This process is repeated with every egg in the sample.
The eggs are then placed back into their original media drops, and the dish is returned to the incubator.