Is the EmbryoScope time-lapse system safe for embryos?

The clinical safety of the EmbryoScope time-lapse system was evaluated starting in June 2009 at IVI Valencia and IVI Alicante in Spain1. The conclusions state: “In the current study, our aim was to demonstrate that EmbryoScope incubation conditions are comparable to standard laboratory incubation circumstances by comparing embryo quality, development and ongoing pregnancy rates between the EmbryoScope (ES) and a standard incubator (SI)... Thus we concluded that time-lapse monitoring in the EmbryoScope does not impair embryo quality while allowing for morphological, spatial and temporal analysis of embryo development.”

These findings have been confirmed in a second prospective clinical trial conducted by Kirkegaard et al2 comparing development in a standard incubator and in the EmbryoScope time-lapse system. Primary end-point was number of 4 cell embryos on day 2, and secondary endpoints was the proportion of 7-8cell embryos on day 3 and blastocysts on day 5.In both studies, time-lapse was not used for embryo assessment and embryos were evaluated by removal from the incubator to assess quality. These studies were conducted to validate that under similar evaluation conditions, incubation and image acquisition in the EmbryoScope did not present a risk to embryo quality.

1 Cruz, M., Gadea, B., Garrido, N., Pedersen, K.S., Martínez, M., Pérez-Cano, I., Muñoz, M. and Meseguer, M. (2011) “Embryo quality, blastocyst and ongoing pregnancy rates in oocyte donation patients whose embryos were monitored by time-lapse imaging” J Assist Reprod Genet 28(7): 569-5732

2 Kirkegaard K., Hindkjaer J. J., Grøndahl, M. L., Kesmodel, U. S. and Ingerslev H.J. (2012) ”A randomized clinical trial comparing embryo culture in a conventional incubator with a time-lapse incubator” J Assist Reprod Genet 29(6): 565-572