·  Bench-Top Time-Lapse incubators allow performing individual monitoring of embryos for each patient, as well as selection of embryos with best implantation rate.

·  According to CREA’s experts, these kinds of incubators are the most effective and safest in embryos implantation.

The development of new incubators and the way the embryo culture is performed made possible an increase of pregnancies through assisted reproduction techniques. It has been stressed out by CREA (Assisted Reproduction Medical Centre – Valencia) that since 2010 has been using exclusively Bench-Top incubators, where each patient’s embryos are hold in small chambers separated from the others, that has recently introduced the most state-of-the-art technology Time-Lapse. This technology saves the embryologists from taking the embryo out of the incubator for its daily evaluation, apart from selecting the embryos with best implantation potential. 

“This technology”, as stressed out by Doctor Miguel Ruiz Jorro, CREA’s co-director and head of CREA’s Reproductive Andrology Unit, “has extraordinarily moved forward in the past few years and from being a simple image capture turned to be an advanced tool for embryo selection. Here at CREA we performed a prospective study to select the technology that offers the best safety, and only then we integrated it in our lab, being now able to offer the best options especially to those patients with worst pregnancy rate. The main difference in this type of culture was made by the appearance, in the past few years, of incubators that combine both technologies -Time Lapse and Bench Top- as well as the development of media culture that allow avoiding the embryo is taken out of the incubator and the discovery of new parameters related to embryo’s reproductive capacity.

Thanks to these breakthroughs it’s possible to maintain more stable culture’s conditions, improving the embryonic development compared to conventional models that are traditionally used in reproductive medicine’s labs, where the embryos of different patients are hold in the same incubator. This provokes that, when you have to take out a cultural plate with one patient’s embryos, the rest of the embryos hold in the same incubator are affected by the fluctuations of temperature and others parameters, for the simple reason that the door has been opened.

The embryos, from the day of oocyte retrieval until day 5 or 6 of development, are incubated and periodically evaluated to know their evolution.  For this reason, it’s essential that their incubation is very stable as it happens in the woman’s body, so that conditions of temperature, humidity, pH, light, etc. of the embryos’ culture media do not vary.

The Time-Lapse includes an high resolution camera performing a continuous time-lapse image capture, offering the embryologists a continuous monitoring, not invasive, of the embryo’s development and quality to select the embryos with best implantation potential. This technique, performed by CREA, could be beneficial for every patient, although it’s especially indicated in the following cases:

·         Implantation failures after assisted reproduction treatments

·         Women in advanced age or with poor ovarian function

·         Poor quality embryos or embryos arresting its development. 

·         Severe male factor. Low sperm count or poor sperm quality. 

The advances in safety and quality of the obtained images, as well as the detection of a relation between embryo kinetics and genetic information, made the Time-Lapse images capture, together with the individual incubation of each patient’s embryos in a Bench-Top incubator, to be the most effective and safest incubation and embryo selection sys-tem.
“The final aim is to obtain better embryos to improve pregnancy rate and to reduce the risk of genetic alterations in the newborns. Moreover, this technology allows us to share with the future parents the images of the first chapters of their embryo’s life”, Dr. Ruiz concludes.

About CREA Valencia
CREA, MEDICAL CENTRE FOR ASSISTED REPRODUCTION has grown to cur-rently become a reference in reproductive medicine. Led by professionals, pioneers in this field since 1988, it offers the best outcomes in infertility treatment through the most updated techniques, such as embryos vitrification or egg donation.