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For Medical Professionals

Cleveland Clinic's Fertility Center at Beachwood not only provides the most up-to-date clinical care, but also boasts an active research program directed by Nina Desai, PhD, HCLD.

The focus of the research at the Fertility Center is the study of human in vitro fertilization and methodology to enhance clinical IVF outcomes. The state-of-the-art laboratories at this center have facilitated a wide range of both clinical and basic research studies detailing embryonic growth in vitro and relationship to blastocyst development, differentiation and pregnancy outcome.

Research Staff & Latest Projects

The research staff is comprised of clinical embryologists, andrologists, post-doctoral fellows and physicians. Current projects include vitrification, assessment of growth factor influence on blastocyst differentiation, embryonic cell death and apoptosis, in vitro maturation (IVM) of preantral follicles and non-invasive techniques for assessing embryo vitality.

Our latest research efforts have resulted in the successful introduction of vitrification technology into the clinical IVF lab for human embryo cryopreservation.

Novel Technology

Another milestone for our laboratory has been development of a novel technology for cryopreservation of individual sperm cells isolated from men with severe male factor infertility. Follicle maturation in vitro is another new frontier being explored. IVM is currently being offered to select patients not responding well to conventional IVF protocols.

Another new initiative within the IVF laboratory has been establishment of technology for human oocyte cryopreservation. Methodology for all of these new and future technologies are worked out in the IVF Research lab at Beachwood.

The strong link between the IVF research and the clinical lab at Cleveland Clinic's Fertility Center in Beachwood has been instrumental in developing “high tech” solutions to improve clinical IVF.

Contact Us

Please contact Nina Desai, PhD, HCLD for further information.

Infertility eNews


Designed for medical professionals, our enewsletter highlights the latest clinical and business news from Cleveland Clinic. This publication is produced two times a year.

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Past Issues

Infertility eNews, Fall 2014

Recently Released Research

Laser Pulse Application in IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the culture and manipulation of gametes and embryos within a laboratory environment. IVF procedures are channeled towards enhancing fertilization and assisting the normal developmental physiology of the growing embryo to increase implantation potential, culminating in the birth of a healthy baby. Laser pulse and its selective application to various steps in the IVF process is an area of growing interest.

Professional Journal Articles

Below, find a listing of published journal articles, organized by topic:

Stem Cells

Desai N, Xu J, Tsulaia T, Szeptycki-Lawson J, Abdelhafez F, Goldfarb J, Falcone T., 2010, Vitrification of mouse embryo-derived ICM cells: a tool for preserving embryonic stem cell potential? J Assist Reprod Genet. 2010 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Embryo Cryopreservation

Desai, N, Abdelhafez, F, Goldberg, J, Falcone, T, and Goldfarb, J., 2010, Clinical pregnancy and live births after transfer of embryos vitrified on Day 3. Reprod Biomed Online 20(6):808-813.

AbdelHafez F, Desai N, Abou-Setta AM, Falcone T, Goldfarb J. Slow freezing, vitrification and ultra-rapid freezing of human embryos: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online 2010 Feb;20(2):209-22. Epub 2009 Nov 27.

In Vitro Follicle Maturation

Desai N, Abdelhafez F, Calabro A, Falcone T. Three dimensional culture of fresh and vitrified mouse pre-antral follicles in a hyaluronan-based hydrogel: a preliminary investigation of a novel biomaterial for in vitro follicle maturation. Desai et al. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2010 (Oct 1) 

Desai N, Alex A, AbdelHafez F, Calabro A, Goldfarb J, Fleischman A, and Falcone T., 2010, Three-dimensional in vitro follicle growth: overview of culture models, biomaterials, design parameters and future directions. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 8 (Oct 14):119.

Desai N, Abdelhafez F, Ali MY, Sayed EH, Abu-Alhassan AM, Falcone T, and Goldfarb J., 2010, Mouse ovarian follicle cryopreservation using vitrification or slow programmed cooling: Assessment of in vitro development, maturation, ultra-structure and meiotic spindle organization. J Obstet Gynaecol Res July 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Testicular Sperm/Single Sperm Cryopreservation

Desai N, Goldberg J, Austin C, Sabanegh E, Falcone T. Cryopreservation of individually selected sperm: methodology and case report of a clinical pregnancy. J Assist Reprod Genet,  2012  (Feb 15)

Fertility Preservation

Desai N, AbdelHafez F, Drazba J, Goldfarb J, Falcone T., 2010, A simple and efficient method for preparation of isolated ovarian follicles for transmission electron microscopy. J Assist Reprod Genet DOI 10.1007/s10815-010-9389-4

Training opportunities in clinical embryology and andrology techniques are offered by Cleveland Clinic's Fertility Center IVF Lab located in Beachwood. Workshops offer hands-on training in the following areas:

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Also known as ICSI)
  • Assisted hatching by chemical and laser methodology
  • Embryo biopsy
  • Embryo assessment and selection for transfer
  • Blastocyst cryopreservation
  • Cleavage stage cryopreservation
  • Culture techniques
  • Sperm assessment, preparation and cryopreservation
  • Testicular sperm preparation and evaluation
  • Clinical stimulation and hormone replacement protocols
  • Routine and advanced andrology techniques