Time-lapse incubator changes IVF and improves results


A new time-lapse incubator has been used successfully at Mayo Clinic for babies born from in vitro fertilization. The incubator minimizes disturbances from human handling as embryos develop and helps fertility specialists better identify the healthiest embryos . The first reported births have now occurred using this technology.

IVF can be more successful

Millions of families every year have trouble becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy to a successful conclusion. Many will seek medical intervention, usually IVF. Mature eggs are taken from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilized by sperm in a laboratory setting. The embryos are then transplanted to the uterus. The procedure is highly effective, but there is a lot of handling of the embryos which could be reduced in order to increase success rate.

Very controlled, stable environmnent

“With current technology IVF is successful for many patients; however, we believe it can be improved even further,” according to Dean Morbeck, PhD, embryologist and director of Mayo Clinic’s In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory. “The time-lapse incubator allows us to culture embryos in a very controlled environment with minimal disturbance, bringing us one step closer to what occurs naturally. We anticipate that patients who have embryos that struggle to develop in traditional incubators will benefit the most from this technology.”

Included microscope and camera

The incubator provides not only a safe, enclosed environment, but incorporates a microscope, camera and computer that provide continuous images of the developing embryo. They provide a record of how and when the cells divide. The healthiest embryos can be extracted for implantation.

A new era in IVF

“Our births and the recent announcement of the first births in the United States form embryos cultured in a time-lapse incubator at the Fertility Centers of New England ushers I a new era in embryo culture,” concluded Morbeck.

Source: Mayo Clinic, MedicalNewsToday


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