What is Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (niPGT) using on ART?

Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (niPGT), represents a groundbreaking advancement in the realm of assisted reproductive technologies, particularly within the domain of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It is a method that allows for the genetic assessment of embryos in a manner that is entirely non-invasive, negating the need for invasive procedures traditionally associated with Preimplantation Genetic Testing.

Traditional Preimplantation Genetic Testing, or PGT, has been a crucial tool in IVF for identifying genetic anomalies or disorders in embryos before they are implanted in the uterus. However, it involves the delicate process of removing a small cell sample from the embryo for genetic analysis, which can occasionally pose risks to the embryo and does not come without its inherent limitations.

In contrast, NiPGT employs innovative techniques that do not require the physical biopsy of the embryo. Instead, it relies on the analysis of genetic material derived from the culture media or other non-invasive sources surrounding the developing embryo. This not only eliminates the potential harm associated with the invasive biopsy but also offers a safer and less stressful alternative for couples undergoing IVF treatments.


Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (NiPGT) is an innovative method that allows genetic analysis of embryos without the need for invasive procedures like embryo biopsy. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is defined as the multidisciplinary clinical application of genetic technologies and assisted reproduction techniques aimed at examining cells from an embryo in its in vitro developmental phase [1].

Here's how NiPGT works:

  1. Embryo Culture: During the IVF process, embryos are cultured in a laboratory setting. As they develop, they release genetic material, including DNA, into the surrounding culture medium.
  2. Collection of Culture Medium: Instead of physically removing a cell or cells from the embryo, NiPGT focuses on collecting a small sample of the culture medium that surrounds the embryo. This medium contains genetic material released by the developing embryo [2].
  3. Isolation of Genetic Material: Scientists isolate and extract the genetic material from the culture medium. This genetic material typically includes fragments of DNA and other molecules.
  4. Genetic Analysis: The isolated genetic material is then subjected to genetic analysis techniques, such as Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). These methods allow for the examination of the genetic content, including the detection of aneuploidies (abnormal chromosome numbers) and other genetic abnormalities [3].
  5. Interpretation of Results: After the genetic analysis, the results are interpreted to determine the genetic status of the embryos. The genetic abnormalities or conditions that might affect the embryo's development can be identified.
  6. Selection of Healthy Embryos: Based on the results, IVF specialists can select the healthiest embryos for transfer into the uterus. This helps increase the chances of a successful pregnancy and reduces the risk of genetic disorders.

The key advantage of NiPGT is that it offers a non-invasive way to assess embryos, eliminating the need to physically biopsy the embryo, which can carry some risk. This technology represents a significant breakthrough in improving the safety and efficiency of IVF procedures while minimizing the stress and potential harm associated with invasive methods. 

Benefits of the Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (niPGT) techniques

The advantages of Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (NiPGT) in the context of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are indeed significant. 

  1. Reduced Risk to Embryos: NiPGT eliminates the need for invasive embryo biopsies, which can carry a slight risk of harm to the embryos. By relying on non-invasive techniques, NiPGT minimizes this risk, ensuring the safety of the embryos.
  2. Enhanced Safety for the Mother: Traditional PGT methods may involve multiple invasive procedures, which can sometimes lead to complications for the mother. NiPGT reduces the risk of these complications, making the IVF process safer for women
  3. Lower Emotional Stress: IVF is often an emotionally challenging journey for couples. The need for invasive procedures and the uncertainty of whether embryos are healthy can contribute to emotional stress. NiPGT provides peace of mind by offering a safer, non-invasive option for embryo assessment, reducing emotional burden and anxiety.
  4. Improved Pregnancy Success Rates: By selecting the healthiest embryos with greater accuracy through NiPGT, the chances of a successful pregnancy are increased. This can save couples time, money, and emotional stress associated with unsuccessful IVF attempts.
  5. Minimized Embryo Wastage: Traditional PGT methods sometimes lead to the removal of cells from embryos, which may not be viable after biopsy. NiPGT avoids this issue, reducing embryo wastage.
  6. Broader Genetic Screening: NiPGT can potentially offer broader genetic screening capabilities, including the ability to detect a wider range of genetic abnormalities or conditions without the limitations of traditional PGT methods.
  7. Greater Accessibility: Non-invasive methods like NiPGT might become more accessible to a broader range of IVF patients, as it eliminates some of the physical risks and discomfort associated with traditional procedures.

Overall, NiPGT offers a safer, less emotionally taxing, and more effective approach to genetic testing during IVF, contributing to the well-being of both the mother and the future child while increasing the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

Comparative analysis of Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (NiPGT)

Certainly, let's undertake a comparative analysis of Non-Invasive Preimplantation Genetic Testing (NiPGT) and the conventional Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) to elucidate the distinctions between these two methodologies

  1. Invasiveness:

    • NiPGT: NiPGT is entirely non-invasive. It does not require a physical biopsy of the embryo.

    • PGT-A: PGT-A involves the removal of one or more cells from the embryo, which is an invasive procedure.

  2. Sample Collection:

    • NiPGT: Collects genetic material from the culture medium surrounding the embryo, which includes DNA fragments released by the embryo.

    • PGT-A: Requires the removal of one or more cells directly from the embryo itself.

  3. Risk to Embryos:

    • NiPGT: Minimizes the risk to embryos since there is no direct contact with the embryo, reducing the potential for damage.

    • PGT-A: Carries a slight risk of harming the embryo during the biopsy process.

  4. Accuracy:

    • NiPGT: May have limitations in terms of accuracy compared to traditional PGT-A, as it relies on genetic material that the embryo releases into the culture medium, which might not always represent the embryo's genetic status accurately.

    • PGT-A: Generally provides highly accurate results since it directly examines the embryo's genetic material.

  5. Genetic Testing Scope:

    • NiPGT: May have the potential to expand genetic testing capabilities over time, including the detection of various genetic abnormalities.

    • PGT-A: Primarily focuses on assessing aneuploidies (abnormal chromosome numbers) and may not cover a broader range of genetic conditions.

  6. Emotional and Psychological Impact:

    • NiPGT: Reduces the emotional stress associated with invasive procedures, making the IVF process less emotionally taxing for couples.

    • PGT-A: Can be emotionally challenging due to the need for invasive embryo biopsies.

  7. Cost and Accessibility:

    • NiPGT: The cost and accessibility of NiPGT may vary but could become more accessible as technology advances.

    • PGT-A: Has established procedures and costs, which may be more readily available, but can be expensive and emotionally taxing.


In summary, NiPGT offers a non-invasive alternative to traditional PGT-A, prioritizing safety and emotional well-being while potentially expanding genetic testing capabilities. However, it may have some limitations in terms of accuracy compared to traditional PGT-A. The choice between these methods depends on the specific circumstances and priorities of the individuals undergoing IVF.

Esco Medical is dedicated to advancing the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART) with its innovative MIRI® Time-Lapse Incubator. This cutting-edge technology significantly enhances the niPGT technique in the IVF lab. Through time-lapse embryo monitoring, the MIRI®TL Incubator provides a wealth of morphogenetic data throughout embryo development, surpassing the limited insights obtained through conventional microscopic assessments. This comprehensive information allows for the meticulous observation of crucial developmental events, facilitating the identification of healthy embryos with the highest likelihood of successful implantation. Furthermore, by maintaining precise temperature and pH within both the incubator and the CultureCoin® dish (an IVF culture dish designed specifically for the MIRI® TL), it ensures the creation of an optimized environment conducive to the successful implementation of NiPGT.