Blastocyst: A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.Embryo Culture Techniques: The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.Embryonic Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.Morula: An early embryo that is a compact mass of about 16 BLASTOMERES. It resembles a cluster of mulberries with two types of cells, outer cells and inner cells. Morula is the stage before BLASTULA in non-mammalian animals or a BLASTOCYST in mammals.Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Blastocyst Inner Cell Mass: The cluster of cells inside a blastocyst. These cells give rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper. They are pluripotent EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS capable of yielding many but not all cell types in a developing organism.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Cleavage Stage, Ovum: The earliest developmental stage of a fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) during which there are several mitotic divisions within the ZONA PELLUCIDA. Each cleavage or segmentation yields two BLASTOMERES of about half size of the parent cell. This cleavage stage generally covers the period up to 16-cell MORULA.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Cryopreservation: Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Zygote: The fertilized OVUM resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.Vitrification: The transformation of a liquid to a glassy solid i.e., without the formation of crystals during the cooling process.Embryo Implantation, Delayed: Delay in the attachment and implantation of BLASTOCYST to the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The blastocyst remains unattached beyond the normal duration thus delaying embryonic development.Cloning, Organism: The formation of one or more genetically identical organisms derived by vegetative reproduction from a single cell. The source nuclear material can be embryo-derived, fetus-derived, or taken from an adult somatic cell.Culture Techniques: Methods of maintaining or growing biological materials in controlled laboratory conditions. These include the cultures of CELLS; TISSUES; organs; or embryo in vitro. Both animal and plant tissues may be cultured by a variety of methods. Cultures may derive from normal or abnormal tissues, and consist of a single cell type or mixed cell types.Trophoblasts: Cells lining the outside of the BLASTOCYST. After binding to the ENDOMETRIUM, trophoblasts develop into two distinct layers, an inner layer of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and an outer layer of continuous multinuclear cytoplasm, the syncytiotrophoblasts, which form the early fetal-maternal interface (PLACENTA).Blastomeres: Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE). Inside the intact ZONA PELLUCIDA, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Nuclear Transfer Techniques: Methods of implanting a CELL NUCLEUS from a donor cell into an enucleated acceptor cell.Ectogenesis: Embryonic and fetal development that takes place in an artificial environment in vitro.Parthenogenesis: A unisexual reproduction without the fusion of a male and a female gamete (FERTILIZATION). In parthenogenesis, an individual is formed from an unfertilized OVUM that did not complete MEIOSIS. Parthenogenesis occurs in nature and can be artificially induced.Zona Pellucida: A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during FERTILIZATION.Fetal Viability: The potential of the FETUS to survive outside the UTERUS after birth, natural or induced. Fetal viability depends largely on the FETAL ORGAN MATURITY, and environmental conditions.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic: An assisted fertilization technique consisting of the microinjection of a single viable sperm into an extracted ovum. It is used principally to overcome low sperm count, low sperm motility, inability of sperm to penetrate the egg, or other conditions related to male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE).Pregnancy Rate: The ratio of the number of conceptions (CONCEPTION) including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; and fetal losses, to the mean number of females of reproductive age in a population during a set time period.Superovulation: Occurrence or induction of release of more ova than are normally released at the same time in a given species. The term applies to both animals and humans.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Ethylene Glycol: A colorless, odorless, viscous dihydroxy alcohol. It has a sweet taste, but is poisonous if ingested. Ethylene glycol is the most important glycol commercially available and is manufactured on a large scale in the United States. It is used as an antifreeze and coolant, in hydraulic fluids, and in the manufacture of low-freezing dynamites and resins.Fallopian Tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques: Methods used to induce premature oocytes, that are maintained in tissue culture, to progress through developmental stages including to a stage that is competent to undergo FERTILIZATION.Chimera: An individual that contains cell populations derived from different zygotes.Cryoprotective Agents: Substances that provide protection against the harmful effects of freezing temperatures.Mice, Inbred ICRSingle Embryo Transfer: The techniques used to select and/or place only one embryo from FERTILIZATION IN VITRO into the uterine cavity to establish a singleton pregnancy.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Endometrium: The mucous membrane lining of the uterine cavity that is hormonally responsive during the MENSTRUAL CYCLE and PREGNANCY. The endometrium undergoes cyclic changes that characterize MENSTRUATION. After successful FERTILIZATION, it serves to sustain the developing embryo.Live Birth: The event that a FETUS is born alive with heartbeats or RESPIRATION regardless of GESTATIONAL AGE. Such liveborn is called a newborn infant (INFANT, NEWBORN).Pseudopregnancy: An acyclic state that resembles PREGNANCY in that there is no ovarian cycle, ESTROUS CYCLE, or MENSTRUAL CYCLE. Unlike pregnancy, there is no EMBRYO IMPLANTATION. Pseudopregnancy can be experimentally induced to form DECIDUOMA in the UTERUS.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Octamer Transcription Factor-3: An octamer transcription factor that is expressed primarily in totipotent embryonic STEM CELLS and GERM CELLS and is down-regulated during CELL DIFFERENTIATION.Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Micromanipulation: The performance of dissections, injections, surgery, etc., by the use of micromanipulators (attachments to a microscope) that manipulate tiny instruments.Ectoderm: The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo.Embryonic Stem Cells: Cells derived from the BLASTOCYST INNER CELL MASS which forms before implantation in the uterine wall. They retain the ability to divide, proliferate and provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Preimplantation Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the OVUM; ZYGOTE; or BLASTOCYST prior to implantation. CYTOGENETIC ANALYSIS is performed to determine the presence or absence of genetic disease.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Mice, Inbred CBAPregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Endoderm: The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo.Embryo Loss: Early pregnancy loss during the EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN stage of development. In the human, this period comprises the second through eighth week after fertilization.Leukemia Inhibitory Factor: An INTERLEUKIN-6 related cytokine that exhibits pleiotrophic effects on many physiological systems that involve cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Leukemia inhibitory factor binds to and acts through the lif receptor.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Germ Layers: The three primary germinal layers (ECTODERM; ENDODERM; and MESODERM) developed during GASTRULATION that provide tissues and body plan of a mature organism. They derive from two early layers, hypoblast and epiblast.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Body Fluids: Liquid components of living organisms.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Polyvinyl Alcohol: A polymer prepared from polyvinyl acetates by replacement of the acetate groups with hydroxyl groups. It is used as a pharmaceutic aid and ophthalmic lubricant as well as in the manufacture of surface coatings artificial sponges, cosmetics, and other products.Cell Culture Techniques: Methods for maintaining or growing CELLS in vitro.Twinning, Monozygotic: The division of a ZYGOTE into two parts, each of which is capable of further development.Mice, Inbred C57BLFreezing: Liquids transforming into solids by the removal of heat.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Decidua: The hormone-responsive glandular layer of ENDOMETRIUM that sloughs off at each menstrual flow (decidua menstrualis) or at the termination of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the thickest part of the decidua forms the maternal portion of the PLACENTA, thus named decidua placentalis. The thin portion of the decidua covering the rest of the embryo is the decidua capsularis.Cell Lineage: The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.Oocyte Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable OOCYTES from the host. Oocytes most often are collected by needle aspiration from OVARIAN FOLLICLES before OVULATION.Tissue Preservation: The process by which a tissue or aggregate of cells is kept alive outside of the organism from which it was derived (i.e., kept from decay by means of a chemical agent, cooling, or a fluid substitute that mimics the natural state within the organism).Pluripotent Stem Cells: Cells that can give rise to cells of the three different GERM LAYERS.Cell Nucleus: Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Sus scrofa: A species of SWINE, in the family Suidae, comprising a number of subspecies including the domestic pig Sus scrofa domestica.Pronase: A proteolytic enzyme obtained from Streptomyces griseus.Reproductive Techniques, Assisted: Clinical and laboratory techniques used to enhance fertility in humans and animals.Microinjections: The injection of very small amounts of fluid, often with the aid of a microscope and microsyringes.