Regulation of the ART Laboratory

  • Doris J. Baker


Assisted reproductive technology (ART) laboratories are an integral component of assisted reproductive medical practices. By definition ART refers to all treatments or procedures that include the in vitro handling of both human oocytes and sperm, or embryos, for the purpose of establishing a pregnancy. The field of ART was established in the 1970s with successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer for the treatment of infertility. The field has expanded to include procedures and services for third-party reproduction, fertility preservation, and sex selection. Genetic screening is available for the purpose of transferring healthy embryos only. In the forefront are mitochondrial replacement techniques for prevention of mitochondrial disease passed from mother to child, and that result in offspring carrying DNA from three different individuals. Embryologists with varying education and certification perform these highly complex procedures. The field continues to grow with 4,461,309 ART cycles initiated for the triennium (2008–2010) resulting in 1,144,858 live births worldwide. Supervision of ART laboratories, including acceptable practices and requirements for personnel performing these multifaceted and often controversial techniques, varies among states. Oversight may be via statute, directive, guidelines, licensing, and accreditation, or the ART laboratory and embryologists may function without benefit of any type of scrutiny.


Accreditation Assisted reproductive technology ART interventions ART laboratory Certification Continuing Professional Development Directive Embryologist Embryology Guideline Law Legal License Licensing body Mandate Oversight Regulation Standard Statute 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doris J. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Mercer University School of Medicine, Basic Medical SciencesMaconUSA

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