reproductive medicine

Embryo culture

The assessment of embryo development usually is done by traditional microscopy methods. Still, in many cases, we apply the most modern platform for embryo culture and continuous monitoring, the embryoscope.

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The embryoscopes of 'Nadezhda'

The assessment of embryo development usually is done by traditional microscopy methods. Still, in many cases, we apply the most modern platform for embryo culture and continuous monitoring, the embryoscope.

 

The embryoscope combines a last-generation incubator with an inbuilt microscope with a camera and specialised software for monitoring and analysis of embryo development without the need to take them outside the incubator. The platform monitors 24/7 vital environmental parameters like temperature and gas composition, and the camera documents the embryo’s development every ten minutes in seven different planes.

 

In contrast to traditional microscopy, the embryoscope allows us to follow up on the dynamics of embryo development. At the same time, we can analyse and closely monitor the cell division and changes in embryo morphology in every single moment. Embryoscopy provides enormous advantages for selecting the embryos with the highest implantation potential.

 

Data from the embryoscopy are stored and can be further used for more in-depth analyses.

When is embryoscopy recommended:

Embryo development day by day

The day of your egg retrieval.

Two pronuclei can be observed in the fertilised egg (the zygote) – one from the sperm and one from the oocyte. Not all eggs retrieved show signs of fertilisation. Some will need to be reevaluated on day 2 for a final result.

The zygotes have cleaved into two to four cells.

The normally developing embryo is already cleaved into 8 cells, called blastomeres.

The morula stage – the embryo now consists of 12 to 16 cells.

The blastocyst stage – the embryo now consists of about 110 cells, which form two types of tissue-like structures: the inner cells mass, which will give rise to the foetus, and the trophectoderm, from which the placenta, the umbilical cord and the foetal membranes will be formed.

 

Five to six days is the maximum period for your embryos to live in the lab.

 

On each of these days, the embryologists will evaluate the embryo development.
Various parameters are assessed: cleavage and number of cells, whether the cells are equal in size and symmetry, whether there are fragments. Also monitored are embryo compaction and the size and quality of the resulting blastocysts.

See also

Preparing for IVF
Stimulation
Egg retrieval
Embryo transfer and pregnancy test
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