40th BSRM Scientific Meeting
23-24 November 2018
The Hotel, Boulevard de Waterloo 38, 1000 Bruxelles


New data presented by Dr. Rivron at the 40th BSRM Scientific Meeting
Creation of a day 5 embryo

Rivron and colleagues have succeeded for the first time in the creation of a day 5 embryo, which they depicted as ‘blastoids’, without the need of sperm and eggs as reported in the journal Nature1. Instead they combined pluripotent embryonic stem cells together with trophoblast stem cells which are able to grow into blastocyst-like structures (blastoids), showing remarkable similarities to normally produced blastocysts. The efficiency was increased by adapting the specific culture conditions in which these blastoids were grown, targeting specific molecular pathways known to be important for successful pre-implantation development. Before, researchers from Cambridge (UK) could combine similar stem cells to mimic the peri- and post-implantation period in vitro in mice, but this study from the Netherlands ‘reprogrammed’ the stem cells to enable pre-implantation development. It has to be noted that these synthetic blastoids did only survive for a few days after embryo transfer to pseudo-pregnant mice, which makes them far from similar to normally fertilized embryos. As for human applications, this amazing breakthrough opens new doors for studying the pre- and peri-implantation period and might offer solutions why many pregnancies fail at an early stage of implantation. It could also resolve the shortage of human embryos for research purposes or to test drugs or culture supplements on a large scale, all in the assumption that trophoblast cells can be produced efficiently in human. Dr. Nicolas Rivron will present these new data at the 40th BSRM meeting in Brussels (23-24 November), together with Dr. Marta Shahbazi from the Cambridge group (UK) who are studying the peri-and post-implantation period of the embryo in vitro.

1Rivron NC, Frias-Aldeguer J, Vrij EJ, Boisset JC, Korving J, Vivié J, Truckenmüller RK, van Oudenaarden A, van Blitterswijk CA, Geijsen N. Blastocyst-like structures generated solely from stem cells. Nature. 2018 May;557(7703):106-111. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0051-0. Epub 2018 May 2.


The main aim of the Belgian Society for Reproductive Medicine is to promote research and subsequent dissemination of research findings in Reproductive Medicine. To co-operate with appropriate organisations and institutions sharing the Society’s aims, in particular to share knowledge and experience.