The Art Of
Creating Life

Embryology

About

The task, goal and mission of the embryologist is to do everything possible to obtain an embryo of good quality. The specifics of his work lies in the fact that he has no room for error.

The outcome of the IVF procedure largely depends on his knowledge, experience and skills. Highly qualified embryologists of Scanfert Clinic are proficient in all modern methods of assisted reproductive technologies and are ready to help you on your way to happy motherhood.

What is the embryologist responsible for?

The embryologist becomes involved in the process at the stage of oocyte retrieval. The follicular fluid with the eggs is taken from the woman, then it is transferred to the embryological laboratory, where the cells are selected and evaluated. Based on the man’s spermogram indicators, the embryologist chooses the method of egg fertilization: IVF or ICSI. Both procedures are available to the patients of Scanfert Clinic. In the first case, the required amount of sperm is added to the eggs that are in the culture medium. In the case of ICSI, the sperm is injected directly into the egg using special microinstruments. After 18 hours, the embryologist evaluates fertilization and selects for further cultivation only those zygotes that have fertilized successfully.

Stages of embryo development

In most cases, embryos are cultivated for five days. 

  • The first stage (the day after the puncture). A zygote is formed, which, in case of successful fertilization, contains two pronuclei.

  • Cleavage stage - begins from the second day of embryonic development. At this stage, the number of cells (blastomeres) and the degree of fragmentation are assessed.

  • Compaction process. Begins on the fourth day of development. Intercellular contacts gradually become denser, the surface of the embryo is smoothed out and a morula is formed.

  • Blastocyst stage. As a rule, most embryos reach it on the fifth day of development. The cells divide into an inner cell mass and trophectoderm, and a blastocoel (a cavity filled with fluid) appears.

Embryo quality assessment

At each stage of development, Scanfert specialists evaluate embryos according to the international system adopted by the Russian Association of Human Reproduction (RAHR), as well as the European Organization of Human Reproduction (ESHRE) and the American Association of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The morphologically best embryo is selected for transfer, with the highest score according to the international system. In most cases, the transfer takes place on the fifth day of development, when the embryos reach the blastocyst stage. At the same stage, the embryologist selects embryos of excellent and good quality for cryopreservation. 

The in vitro fertilization procedure is a serious and responsible process, the success of which largely depends on the embryologist and the equipment used in the laboratory. Qualified specialists of Scanfert Сlinic use the latest technologies that minimize possible risks.

RI Witness system

Errors when working with biomaterial are excluded. The success of the IVF procedure depends on many factors, including the psycho-emotional state of the future parents. One of the most exciting topics for patients is the identification of embryos. After all, the embryos of the first days of development do not differ in any way outwardly, they cannot look like mom and dad. Therefore, the question of patients: "Are these exactly my embryos?" is quite reasonable.

In order to exclude the possibility of errors when working with biological material, the RI Witness system was developed, which is used in Scanfert Сlinic.

This system relies on the use of radio frequency tags to identify each sample. When joining the IVF program, each couple is assigned a unique personal code: all biomaterials in the IVF process are marked with electronic tags that are read by the system. In the event of a mismatch in the marks, the system warns embryologists about the error, and the laboratory is blocked until it is eliminated. The use of the RI Witness system eliminates the possibility of confusing biological material, thereby reducing the stress level for both patients and embryologists working with this material.

Log & Guard OCTAX system

Reliable protection of embryos. Another important factor in the effectiveness of IVF is the safety of the biological material. The fact is that oocytes and embryos are extremely sensitive to the slightest fluctuations in temperature and changes in the concentration of gases in the incubator. The Log & Guard OCTAX system is the first monitoring and alerting system designed specifically for use in IVF laboratories. At Scanfert Clinic Log & Guard OCTAX system monitors the condition of the developing embryos around the clock.

The system provides independent measurement of the following parameters:

  • Temperature in incubators, refrigerators, containers with liquid nitrogen;

  • PH level of culture media;

  • CO2 level in incubators;

  • Availability of power supply to the connected devices;

  • Temperature and humidity in the laboratory.

In case of deviation of any of the parameters from the set value, an alarm and SMS notification are triggered, which allows you to immediately respond and prevent damage to the embryos.

EmbryoScope Incubator

Real-time video surveillance. In order for embryos to grow and develop correctly, it is very important to provide them with conditions that are as close as possible to those in a woman's body. Numerous studies have made it possible to create devices that almost completely recreate natural conditions - incubators for the cultivation of embryos. Almost all the time, from oocyte puncture to transfer and cryopreservation, embryos are in incubators, except for those moments when the embryologist evaluates the embryos or makes the necessary manipulations. Scanfert Clinic uses the EmbryoScope - the latest generation incubator equipped with a built-in video camera. Thanks to time-lapse technology, specialists can monitor embryos throughout their development, without having to remove them from the safe environment of the incubator. Also, the use of the EmbryoScope incubator allows you to record the development of the embryo from the moment of fertilization to transfer.

EmbryoScope is also a system that allows you to choose the highest quality and most successful embryo for transfer. With a traditional assessment, there is a chance not to see the critical moments of the embryo's development, but with the EmbryoScope the embryologist will not miss anything. With time-lapse videos obtained with the EmbryoScope, the embryologist will get the most complete history of the development of the embryos in order to decide which ones should be transferred or frozen for future use. EmbryoScope software tools are developed on the basis of artificial intelligence and machine learning during thousands of IVF cycles performed around the world. The information obtained from them is used to select embryos with a developmental model that will most likely lead to a successful result.

Also at Scanfert Clinic you can get acquainted with your future baby at the embryonic stage with the help of photography. At the same time, embryologists have the opportunity to observe the development of embryos without removing them from the physiological conditions of the incubator, without exposing them to the risks of moving from the incubator to the microscope and back. Embryos remain in the incubator chamber throughout the entire cultivation period, which minimizes physiological stress for them, increases their viability and implantation potential.

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