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Embryoscope

Increased chances of pregnancy with a reduced number of treatments.

The embryoscope is a new method in reproductive medicine that increases the chances of pregnancy in extracorporeal fertilization (IVF/ICSI) worldwide by now. It involves an incubator with a special microscopic camera that captures 7 to 8 images every 20 minutes of each embryo. These images allow for the first time a continous non-invasive monitoring of the embryo’s celular and molecular changes. This means a revolutionary innovation to embryo culture which involves great benefits:

  • The embryo’s development is no longer interrupted for exemination by removing it from the incubator.
  • The embryos can be estimated more effectively and abnomalities recognized faster. A quality indicator, for example, is the cell division cycle - that can only be detected in time lapse.

In incubators without this specific build-in camera the growth of egg cell and embryo is revised only once a day. By using this procedure it can be determined whether fertilisation has been successful and if the embryos are developing in a timely manner. However, developmental disorders remain undetected.

The embryoscope in contrast improves the embryo selection and the identification of the embryo to transfer significantly inter alia by using the software KidScore d3 of Vitrolife. This not only leads to a higher pregnancy rate than with simple incubators, but reduces also the number of necessary treatments until pregnancy. The following publication (Rubio 2014 Fert. Stert.) as well as our own data testify it. Since both, our biologists as well as your doctor have access to the image data of the embryoscope, he can show you the pictures even on the iPad. 

Graphical presentation of the observed embryo development stages t2, t3, t4, t5, CC2 = t3 - t2 and s2 = t4 - t3. Identification of the exact times measured in hours after ICSI sperm injection.
Image source: Meseguer, et al. (2011) Human Reproduction, 26(10) 2658-2671

Invasive methods

Prior to the development of the embryoscopes there have been attempts for a better estimation of the egg cell or the embryo development by invasive methods. For expample the polar body biopsy (PKB, PBB) should have provided more precise information about the further development of the cell. However this invasive „screening“ (PGS) has not lead to an improvement, but to a reduction in pregnancy rate. The invasive procedures have presently only importance in pre-implantive diagnosis of monogenic diseases (PID).
In the enclosed film, we show you a fertilised egg with normally progressing embryonic development.
  • What costs are involved?