Birzeit University, Palestine
Ihab Abu Ajamieh obtained his PhD from University of Toronto, March 2020 and did his postdoctoral research there until August 2020, where he worked on micro devices and robotic systems. He joined the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Birzeit University as an Assistant Professor in August 2020.
Dr. Ihab research interests focus on developing innovative technologies and instruments for manipulating and characterizing cells, molecules, and nanomaterials, including developing vision-based control and automation strategies for the cell’s micromanipulation and microsurgical operations, in addition to microfabrication and microfluidic devices.
Recently, he started working on ingestible electrochemical devices, aiming to design, build, and implant sensors to collect data remotely from different areas, to monitor and diagnose different diseases and for drug delivery inside the body.
The recent growing interest in single cell biology demonstrates that micromanipulation and microsurgical advance strategies are required to carry out single cell surgical processes, such as the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). To perform PGD, a sample from the inner material of the embryo is extracted using a microsurgical operation called embryo biopsy, in which the embryo is reoriented safely to a predefined desired orientation, required for the embryo outer membrane (Zona Pellucida ZP) perforation, to extract the material sample, and separate it from the embryo. Currently, embryologists manually perform the embryo biopsy steps. However, direct human involvement contributes to a significant negative impact on the process throughput and success rate. Growing demand for such advanced strategies mandates the development of automated systems to achieve high throughput with high success rates. Here I will talk about novel methods for the automation of the blastocyst embryo biopsy steps, using the conventional tools currently available in the research labs and the in vitro fertilization clinics (IVF), computer vision, and image-based control algorithms. This talk includes four main sections, each relating to the automation of the four main steps: embryo reorientation, ablates the embryo outer membrane, sample extraction, and separating the sample. However, the focus will be on the reorientation step, since it is the most important step.