In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which eggcells are fertilized by sperm cells outside the body of the women. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the women’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy.
Incubators are vital to the overall success of IVF. They create the optimal, constant environment for embryo cultures. Fluctuation causes stress and IVF labs want to minimize stress. CO2 is used to regulate the pH level, thus pH is measured and maintained by monitoring and adjusting the concentration of CO2. CO2 and pH have an inverse relationship; as the concentration of CO2 increases, pH level decreases. IVF media are designed and buffered to maintain specific pH at specific CO2 levels where CO2 dissolves in and out of the media to maintain the correct pH.
Unisense FertiliTech’s EmbryoScope with in-built camera
The EmbryoScope, an incubator with in-built camera developed by Unisense FertiliTech won FDA clearance to monitor embryo development continuously for up to 5...
It can capture time-lapse image that works without disturbance to the embryo culture. It automatically detects and monitors up to 72 embryos, with 6 patient slides and 12 embryos in each slide.
A built-in gas incubator allows fast and accurate regulation of carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations. A camera collects images of the embryos every 20 minutes at a resolution of 1280 × 1024 pixels. The incubator is controlled by an embedded PC having an ethernet connection with a front port for USB storage of the captured JPEG images.
The EmbryoScope helps IVF physicians to easily assess several parameters for embryo selection like:
- The timing of first and subsequent cleavages,
- The synchrony of divisions and appearance of nuclei after division.
It also detects multi nucleation throughout the cell division progress. Embryoscope looks like a good tool to have a visual assessment of the fertilization process during IVF.