What kind of culture dish is used?
The EmbryoSlide culture dish is a CE-marked Type IIa Medical Device and FDA-cleared 510k for human clinical use. It is composed of medical grade polystyrene and tested by exactly the same tests as other IVF-approved culture dishes. All production lots are QC-tested by external companies according to approved practices for: i) Sterility (ISO11137 with SAL 10-6), ii) Cytotoxicity (USP method <87> and ISO 10993-5); iii) Non-pyrogenic (< 20 Endotoxin units/device) and iv) Embryo toxicity (tested with mouse zygote development to fully expanded blastocysts over 96 hrs; the acceptance criterion is ≥80% expanded blastocysts). A certificate to this effect is included with all shipments of the EmbryoSlide culture dish.
How are embryos transferred to the EmbryoSlide culture dish?
Embryos are handled with normal fine-tip pipettes (e.g. Stripper tips) under a normal dissection microscope. The time to load an EmbryoSlide is comparable to the time it takes to prepare a standard culture dish once you have passed the learning stage. Each well in the EmbryoSlide contains 25 μL medium and the 12 wells are covered with a confluent oil layer (1.2 mL). Two days on-site training is provided by a Vitrolife A/S instructor as part of the installation procedure for new customers.
Can embryos be cultured to blastocyst in the EmbryoScope time-lapse incubator?
Yes, embryos can be cultured to day 5.
Which culture media can be used?
The step over to time-lapse does not dictate the use of a specific media. If you feel safe with the current media system you have, then this can be a good start. However, Vitrolife has developed a media specifically to suit time-lapse technology. It is tested and validated for use with time-lapse and can be a good alternative.
Do I have to use a media designed for continuous culture in time-lapse?
The technology does not mandate any specific media to be used. But with time-lapse comes an undisturbed environment and workflow flexibility, which places new requirements on culture media. To be able to culture from fertilization to blastocyst stage in an optimal way, G-TL was engineered supporting the needs of the embryo. The value of using G-T supporting continuous culture from fertilization to blastocyst stage without exchange will increase with:
• The larger the share of patients having blastocyst culture
• The level of time and resource restraints in the lab
How is a media changed when necessary?
A change of medium can be performed efficiently without moving embryos to a new EmbryoSlide culture dish. Each embryo resides in a central inner microwell (approximately 20nL) within an outer larger well of 25 μL. The medium can be changed by using a fine-tip pipette and removing the spent medium from the outer well, while the embryo remains safely in the inner well. The new medium can then be added to replace 80 – 90% of the original medium. Alternatively, the embryos can be transferred to a new EmbryoSlide culture dish.