Title: Automatic SCNT and its application in Animal Cloning
Abstract: The somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), also known as animal clone, is one of most complex and challenging cell manipulation tasks. The SCNT involves multiple manipulation procedures, such as oocyte rotation, penetration, enucleation, and somatic cell injection, and inevitably causes intracellular damage to recipientoocytes during manipulation, resulting in only around 1-2% of reconstructed embryos developed into live cloned animals. The low success rate is considered to be the major limitation of extensive applications of the cloning technique. This study aims to increase development potential of reconstructed embryos by automatic SCNT. The main approach is to reduce the mechanical harm to oocyte and lost cytoplasm of oocyte through Robotic SCNT technique. In this talk, the automated polar body detection and nuclei visualization techniques were developed to perform precise enucleation through reducing the amount of lost cytoplasm in enucleation. Then, a robotic SCNT system was established and applied to pig cloning. We did thousands of robotic SCNT operations, and the blastocyst rate was improved from 10% (manual SCNT) to 27.5%(automatic SCNT). Two groups of reconstructed embryos were transferred to surrogate pigs, 24 cloned pigs were obtained at last.
Biography: Xin Zhao is Chair Professor, Dean of Artificial Intelligence, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. He received the B.S. degree from Nankai University, Tianjin, P.R.China, in 1991, the M.S. degree from Shenyang Institute of Automation, CAS, Shenyang, P.R.China, in 1994 , and the Ph.D. degree from Nankai University, in 1997, all in control theory and control engineering. He joined the faculty at Nankai University, Tianjin, P.R.China in 1997. He was a Visiting Professor in Center of Cell Control, Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles in 2009-2010. His research interests are in Mico-Nano Manipulation and System and Mathematical Biology. Prof. Zhao was the recipient of 1999 Excellent Professor Award, Nankai University, 2000 Inventory Prize, Tianjin Municipal Government, 2002 Excellent Professor Award of “College Key Teachers Fund”, Ministry of Education, 2002 Excellent Professor Award of “Baogang Fund” and 2007 Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, Ministry of Education. His team was supported by High Level Innovation Team in Tianjin Special Support Plan for Talents Development and Tianjin Key Areas Innovation Team (2017). His team conducted the first batch of robotic-operated alive cloned animals around the world in 2017 and received the Award of China's 10 Advancements in Intelligent Manufacturing Science and Technology in 2018.