Equipment and scope of work
The embryology lab consists of several rooms which are spatially and functionally connected:
Anteroom, embryologists change before entering the lab. It is equipped with a powerful ventilation system for air purification.
Main room, where IVF and embryo culture take place. It is subdivided into three sectors, each of them equipped with a laminar flow hood, stereo microscope, inverted microscope and micromanipulator for ICSI. The main room holds five large, nine small and two benchtop incubators. Incubators are functionally allocated by tasks – for media equilibration, for warming up of consumables, for keeping eggs after retrieval, and for culturing embryos. The lab has two embryoscopes too. These are integrated incubators with in-built systems for monitoring, analysis and storage of information for the course of development of each embryo.
A room designated for work with liquid nitrogen and freeze/thaw procedures. It is equipped with an incubator, a dewar shipper for transferring frozen specimens to the cryobank, as well as a central liquid nitrogen supply system.
To guarantee the safety of both patients and staff, a separate area is dedicated to the processing of patients with a confirmed active STD or blood-borne infection who are undergoing an IVF procedure. The quarantine box has its own dedicated incubator, a special laminar flow hood for working with infectious specimens, a stereomicroscope and an inverted microscope.
Air quality in premises and incubators
The lab was specially designed to meet borth national and international standards. Access is restricted to embryology staff only; in-built HEPA air filtration is in place and in addition, a CODA Air purification system is in place to eliminate harmful organic volatile compounds (VOCs).
The lab is designed with positive air pressure which does not allow the inflow of non-filtrated air from the outside. Air quality in the embryology lab premises meets the Grade D GMP requirements, and Grade A in laminar flow hoods where cells are processed. Air quality is subject to regular audits and control by an external certified company.
Temperatures and gas concentrations in incubators are monitored daily. Each incubator is equipped with an additional external inflow gas-line filter and an additional internal filter to guarantee the highest air purification. Internal filters are changed monthly, and external gas-line filters are changed every three months.
Fertilization and embryo transfer
The emryology lab is connected to three procedure rooms with modern equipment for egg retrieval and embryo transfer. Each procedure room is connected to the embryology lab through a small window to secure the fast and safe handling of the follicular fluid aspirates and the loaded catheters for embryo transfers. The window is closed on both sides by transparent doors to protect the air quality inside the lab. Communication is done through a local hands-free phone system.
The connection to the andrology lab, which is located on the ground floor, is through a small dedicated specimen lift between the two labs. In this way, after semen analysis and processing are complete, sperm samples prepared for IVF are directly transported to the embryology lab.