Research Laboratories

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratory

Many elements of the Fertility Center of the Carolinas program makes us stand out from the competition: our physician expertise, clinical outcomes, and high-quality patient care. However, one of the most significant ways we differ from other infertility practices in the Southeast is our Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratory. Here, miracles happen every day as embryologists use special techniques for assisting reproduction in a laboratory environment that simulates the fertilization process that occurs inside the human body.

Embryologists utilize state-of-the-art growth culture conditions and incubation technology inside the world’s first ART clean room. This “clean room” concept eliminates air toxins and pollutants that can jeopardize the growth and development of human embryos, including compounds found in common building materials such as paint, cleaning products, and dust.

The lab is designated a Class 100 clean air system, meaning that no more than 100 particles of 0.5 microns or larger are in a cubic foot of air. (By contrast, the average household has one million particles per cubic foot!) Our staff dress in special clothing to reduce chemical and biohazard contamination.

At Fertility Center of the Carolinas we believe that combining the latest medical knowledge and the newest ART technologies with a gentle, caring staff can lead to the best possible outcomes. With more than 1000 babies born with the aid of ART, our program is a leader in the Southeast.

Andrology Laboratory

Highly trained personnel in this laboratory perform semen analysis, sperm preparations for intrauterine insemination (IUI), cryopreservation of spermatozoa, and preparation of sperm for ART procedures. Sperm samples used for fertilization procedures are prepared using chemically balanced density gradients that give patients the optimal sperm characteristics for insemination.

Certified by the College of American Pathologists, the Prisma Health andrology laboratory contains leading-edge equipment, including a Sperm Class Analyzer (SCA). The SCA assesses motion parameters of sperm.

Laboratory Research

Lab personnel also participate in research projects dealing with laboratory quality control, sperm function, and methods for maximizing IUI and ART pregnancy rates.

Grants, Publications, and Presentations

Leading the way

As a research leader, Fertility Center of the Carolinas is enhancing patient care through clinical studies and development. In fact, we receive funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the endometrial implantation and infertility associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Grants, Publications & Presentations

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Progesterone Resistance in PCOS Endometrium: A Microarray Analysis in Clomiphene Citrate-Treated and Artificial Menstrual Cycles
Savaris RF et al. – Differences in gene expression provide evidence of progesterone resistance in midsecretory PCOS endometrium, independent of clomiphene citrate and corresponding to the observed phenotypes of hyperplasia, cancer, and poor reproductive outcomes in this group of women.

Bai S, Grossman G, Yuan L, Lessey BA, French FS, Young SL, et al.; Hormone control and expression of androgen receptor coregulator MAGE-11 in human endometrium during the window of receptivity to embryo implantation. Mol Hum Reprod. 2008;14(2):107-16.
Herlong JL, Reubish K, Higdon III HL, Boone WR. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of microorganisms in an assisted reproductive technology facility. Fertil Steril. 2008;89:847-59.
Higdon III HL, Blackhurst DW, Boone WR. Incubator management for the assisted reproductive technology laboratory. Fertil Steril. 2008;89:703-10.
Johnson JE, Higdon III HL, Boone WR. Effect of human granulosa cell co-culture using standard culture media on the maturation and fertilization of immature human oocytes. Fertil Steril. 2008;90:1674-9.
Miller PB, Forstein DA, Styles S. Effect of short-term diet and exercise on hormones and menses in obese, infertile women. J Reprod Med 2008;53:315-9.
Savaris, Ricardo, Hamilton, Amy, Lessey, Bruce, Giudice, Linda. Endometrial Gene Expression in Early Pregnancy: Lessons From Human Ectopic Pregnancy: Reproductive Sciences Vo. DOI 10.177/1933719108317585. 2008 by the Society for Gynecologic Investigation.
Usadi, RS, Groll, JM, Lessey, BA, Lininger R, Zaino R, Fritz, MA, Young, SL. Endometrial Development and Function in Experimentally-Induced Luteal Phase Deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Bohler HC, Gercel-Taylor C, Lessey BA, Taylor DD. Endometriosis markers: immunologic alterations as diagnostic indicators for endometriosis. Reprod Sci. 2007;14:595-604.
Boone WR, Higdon III HL, Skelton WD. How to design and implement an assisted reproductive technology (ART) clean room. Clin. Embryologist. 2007;10(4):5,7-9,11,13,15-7.
Burney RO, Talbi S, Hamilton AE, Vo KC, Nyegaard M, Nezhat CR, Lessey BA, Giudice LC. Gene expression analysis of endometrium reveals progesterone resistance and candidate susceptibility genes in women with endometriosis. Endocrinol. 2007;148(8):3814-26.
Dacus JV. Management of gestational and pregestational diabetes. On The Cutting Edge (American Dietetic Association).2007;28(2):6-8.
Donaghay M, Lessey BA. Uterine receptivity: alterations associated with benign gynecological disease. Semin Reprod Med. 2007;25:461-75.
Espey E, Nuthalapaty FS, Cox S, Katz N, Ogburn T, Peskin T, et al.; To the point: medical education review of the RIME method for the evaluation of medical student clinical performance. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007:123-33.
Higdon III HL, Hill LK, Johnson JE, Houwing AW, Boone WR. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the Upstate: effectiveness of surgical sperm removal techniques in conjunction with ICSI to promote the success of pregnancy. J S C Med Assoc. 2007;103:8-12.
Lin MG, Reid KJ, Treaster MR, Nuthalapaty FS, Ramsey PS, Lu GC. Transcervical Foley catheter with and without extraamniotic saline infusion for labor induction. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;110(3):558-65.
MacLaughlan SD, Palomina WA, Mo B, Lewis TD, Lininger RA, Lessey BA. Endometrial expression of Cyr61: A marker of estrogenic activity in normal and abnormal endometrium. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;110:146-54.
Nuthalapaty FS, Lu G, Ramin S, Nuthalapaty ES, Ramin KD, Ramsey PS. Is there a preferred gestational age threshold of viability? A survey of maternal-fetal medicine providers. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2007;20:293-7.
O’Brien JM, Adair CD, Lewis DF, Hall DR, DeFranco EA, Frusey S, Soma-Pillay P, Porter K, How H, Schackis R, Eller D, Trivedi Y, Vanburen G, Khandelwal M, Trofatter KF, et al. The rate of recurrent preterm birth is not reduced by progesterone therapy when the indication for treatment is maternal history. U/S Obstet Gynecol. 2007;30:687-96.
O’Brien JM, Adair CD, Lewis DF, Hall DR, DeFranco EA, Frusey S, Soma-Pillay P, Porter K, How H, Schackis R, Eller D, Trivedi Y, Vanburen G, Khandelwal M, Trofatter KF, et al. Vaginal progesterone decreases the risk of early preterm birth and improves neonatal outcome in women with a short cervix: a secondary analysis from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. U/S Obstet Gynecol. 2007;30:697-705.
Picklesimer AH, Oepkes D, Moise KJ, Kush ML, Weiner CP, Harmon CR, et al.; Determinants of the middle cerebral artery peak systolic velocity in the human fetus. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007;197(5): 526-527.
Proctor JG, Boone WR. The economics of flexible versus rigid catheters for intrauterine insemination. Fertil Steril. 2007;88:749-50.
Rhodes TL, Higdon III HL, Boone WR. Comparison of pregnancy rates for two embryo transfer catheters. Fertil Steril. 2007;87:411-6.
Sugihara K, Kabir-Salmani M, Byrne J, Wolf DP, Lessey BA, Iwashita M, et al.; Induction of trophinin in human endometrial surface epithelia by CGbeta and IL-1beta. FEBS Lett. 2008;582(2):197-202.
Wheeler TL, Blackhurst DW, Dellinger EH, Ramsey PS. Usage of spot urine protein to creatinine ratios in the evaluation of preeclampsia. AJOG. 2007;196:465.e1-e4.