In IVF, fertilisation of the eggs are performed either through insemination with sperm in a culture dish in an incubator, or through Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in the laboratory by embryologists. The fertilised eggs or embryos are placed in an incubator with strictly monitored settings of temperature, humidity, pH value, etc., resembling nature’s embryo culture environment (Fallopian tube).
The embryos are monitored once a day to ascertain that they are dividing (cleaving) normally. The embryo monitoring involves taking the embryos out from the incubator, examining them under a microscope to take a ‘snapshot’ of the developing embryos.
EmbryoScope provides a time-lapse recording of the growing embryos, where images of each embryo are automatically recorded at preset time intervals which records up to 3,500 images per embryo during culture. The extra information from the EmbryoScope enables the identification of the best embryos with greater confidence. It also allows collective review and decision among doctors and embryologists in the selection process.
(1) A matured egg
(2) A fertilised egg (After about 20 hours)
(3) 2-cell embryo (Day 1 after fertilisation)
(4) 4-cell embryo (Day 2 after fertilisation)
(5) 6 or 8-cell embryo (Day 3 after fertilisation)
(6) Morula (Day 4 after fertilisation)
(7) Blastocyst (Day 5 after fertilisation)
EmbryoScope is a combination of incubator and imaging system. It has a built-in camera. Every 20 minutes, an image of the embryo in the incubator is taken automatically.
The EmbryoScope is able to incubate up to 72 individual embryos in six sterile disposable slides each with a capacity of 12 embryos.
During selection of embryos for implantation, various parameters should be considered, such as timing, cell morphology, and synchrony of cell division. It is necessary to have detailed observation of the nuclei and dimension of the cells. The time-lapse imaging system enables continuous assessment of embryonic development as well as selection of embryos with better quality for implantation.