Embryoscope is the latest technology by which the most viable and the best quality embryo may be identified for embryo transfer. This also plays an important factor in improving the pregnancy rates in Assisted reproduction. Prashanth Fertility Research Centre can boast of being one of the 125 exclusive centres in the world to have this technology. The embryoscope is an IVF Incubator with a built in camera for automated time lapse imaging of fertilized oocytes in a safe incubator environment from conception to embryo transfer. Failure to select a viable embryo in a given fertility treatment limits the success rates of current Procedures. Fertility clinics generally rely on the morphological appearance of embryos at a few distinct time points during the development to pick up a good embryo for transfer. However embryo development is a very dynamic process and critical stages between observations go unnoticed.
This novel equipment overcomes the short comings of the current IVF protocols and substantiates as to how improved embryo selection is possible based on a kinetic analysis of time lapse images of embryo development. By choosing the best embryos, the technology eventually increase the current success rates of infertility treatment and the first baby conceived using the technology of the embryoscope have already been born, proving the efficacy of this amazing technology.
Normally embryos are assessed at particular time points and increasing the number of times of assessment gives more information and helps to score the embryos. Embryos with top scores are the best embryos and transferring these embryos into the uterus gives remarkable pregnancy rates. After the egg is inseminated with the sperm, early division to the 2 cell stage is assessed at 25-27 hours.Early division gives good pregnancy rates. At 62 hours cell numbers are studied. Duration and timing of cell division also contributes to pregnancy rates and prolonged duration is detrimental.
• Embryo with high or very low cell numbers are more likely to be genetically abnormal.
• Embryo division should happen in synchrony to give good pregnancy rates.
• Embryos with even cell numbers are considered good embryos.
• Second and third cell division usually occurs early morning and is therefore missed in the routine IVF labs.
• Some embryos are 3 cells for a short duration which may likely to be missed unless the embryos are continuosly monitored 3 cell embryos are abnormal.
• Blastomeres which are the cells in the embryos must be even sized to give good pregnancy rates.
• Transient fragmentation which may occur may be missed if they are joined later. Fragmentation is a sign of poor quality embryos.
• Multinucleated embryos are also poor embryos and this can be missed if observed only at specific time points.
In a normal IVF lab, after injecting the sperm into the egg, embryos are seen once at 16- 18 hours, once at 65-68 hours and then on Day 5 only so several vital parameters may be missed. This is where an Embryoscope has proved to be a boon. In an embryoscope the images of each embryo is automatically recorded at 20 minutes interval. By the click of a button, the images of each embryo can be recalled and studied at numerous time points 27-28 hrs, 36 hrs,62 hrs and so on. This helps identifying all the important parameters which could have been missed otherwise. Embryos are scored based on these parameters and the top scoring embryos are selected for transfer into the uterus.
Generally in all IVF labs embryos are observed by removing them outside the incubator. In an embryoscope, observations are made inside the incubator avoiding exposure of the embryos to the outside temperature. The embryoscope also ensures stable gas composition as it is not opened till the day of the embryo transfer. It also ensures pure gas as it has volatile organic compound filters, HEPA filters and UV illumination. It maintains a non humid environment and decreases the risk of bacterial and fungal contamination. The exclusive system therefore protects embryos from damage, giving top class embryos thus resulting in better pregnancy rates. The embryoscope by advanced embryo analysis and by maintaining the embryos in a stable and clean environment, helps to select top quality embryos, giving upto 75% remarkable pregnancy rates and decreases miscarriage rates by 8- 10%.