Embryoscope, a break-through technology in the field of ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology), is now available at Manipal Fertility Andrology and Reproductive Services (MARS). The technology promises added safety and potentially increases the chances of conceiving since it creates a safe environment for embryo development. It also assists in instant and constant monitoring of embryonic growth which helps ensure the safe, controlled development of the embryo.
The technology integrates a multi-gas incubator, a microscope and a time-lapse camera to record continuous embryonic development. With a capacity to monitor up to 12 embryos at once, the Embryoscope can take photos of each embryo every five to 20 minutes for the entire duration of the incubation period, allowing for comprehensive monitoring of embryo development. Abnormal embryo development can be detected without harming the embryo, allowing the most viable embryos to be selected during in-vitro fertilization.
The Embryoscope is the safest technology developed in the field of ART today to help childless couples achieve their dreams of conceiving a healthy child.
Other techniques available and commonly used for ART include Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and Intracytoplasmic morphologically-selected sperm injection (IMSI).
According to current understanding, there are two major reasons why an embryo may fail to implant and develop into a baby.
1. Lack of genetic competency in embryos
It has been found that 50-60% of embryos created via ART are genetically defective. Risks of genetically abnormal embryos called aneuploid are higher with women of advanced age. Aneuploid embryos carry an abnormal number of chromosomes which affect their ability to successfully implant and develop into a healthy baby.
2. Lack of receptive endometrium
For an embryo to implant and develop into a baby it has to carry accurate genetic information and the endometrium should be receptive enough to allow it to implant and grow. If the endometrium fails to provide proteins which are crucial in assisting embryo implantation, then even if the embryo is genetically competent, it will fail to implant in the uterus.
All embryos are not equal in their development. Therefore, there exists a set of well-defined rules to assist in selecting the most competent embryo based on their morphological appearance under the microscope which increases the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.
Although, only the best embryos are selected using these guidelines, the technique is not completely fail-proof and does not yield positive results all the time. Case studies have shown that even an embryo with the best study fails at times. However, a good embryo selection technique can reduce the overall time taken to achieve pregnancy.
Even the best ART clinics around the world will have a success rate of 40-50% per cycle.
Less manipulation of embryos reduces risk of harm.
Once the eggs have been successfully fertilized with sperm in the laboratory, the resulting embryos are kept in strictly controlled and heated incubators. Over a period of two to five days these are examine appropriate embryo development and most likely to result in a pregnancy.
Allows for observation without direct contact with the embryo thus minimizing risk to the embryo development.
Until now, monitoring the embryo’s development involved removing the culture dishes in which they are growing from the incubator to examine the embryos under a heated microscope. They must then be returned to the incubator as quickly as possible to keep the temperature (and pH) constant and avoid any damage to the embryos. In order to minimize disturbances to culture conditions, this is done only once or twice a day offering brief “snap shots” during which embryologists assess which embryos will have the highest chance of implantation. With the new embryoscope, this can be avoided completely since embryo development can be observed without removing it from the incubators.
Instant and continuous monitoring of all embryos without removing the embryo from the incubator daily for observation.
The new computerized Embryoscope incubator offers continuous “live” surveillance of embryos in a non invasive manner since they do not have to be removed for examination. A large screen provides a continuous overview of all patient embryos within the incubator. The intuitive touch screen interface allows fingertip selection by the embryologist of individual embryos for observation at any time. Genetic abnormalities in the embryo are easily traceable.
Embryoscope automatically records and documents complete and accurate details of all embryos and provides retrospective data for analysis.
The Embryoscope can monitor up to 12 embryos at once, and capture 4D images of each embryo every 5 to 20 minutes for the entire duration of the incubation period, allowing for comprehensive monitoring of embryo development.
Provides accurate details of embryo development making selection of “highest potential” embryos for embryo transfer simpler and safer.
With Embryoscope, we can see things that we might have missed before simply because they didnâ€™t happen at a time when we were examining them under the microscope. It may well be possible to now observe key events to help us select which embryos will grow into babies. Also, nature provides a very stable environment for embryos in the fallopian tubes and womb, which we try to mimic in the IVF lab. This new incubator promises to be the best thing we have had so far to do that.
At present, the Embryoscope is a novel technological advancement in the IVF process to achieve pregnancy. It might prove to be helpful in improving IVF success by 5-8% in selected groups of patients.
Embryoscope has been found to improve the pregnancy rates in selected groups of patients. Also there are certain prerequisites for using this technology. Your ART specialist will decide if this technology needs to be used when are undergoing the ART treatment.
- Patients with recurrent implantation failures
- Patients with recurrent pregnancy loss
- Candidates with sperm with high DNA fragmentation index
- Candidates suffering from severe male factor infertility
- Patients where we use testicular sperm