Very often, looking through the correspondence of women involved in the IVF program or women still choosing the clinic, one phrase comes across — “high-yield embryology”: “We need to look for a clinic with a high-yield embryology”, “is there a high-yield embryology in this center?”, etc. What is an indicator of high-yield embryology?
Therefore, firstly, this is an equipment. Embryos are the micro-objects that are extremely sensitive to temperature; that is why it is so important to maintain a stable and optimal temperature at all steps, from ovocyte puncture to embryo transfer into the uterine cavity. The temperature regime is ensured by the presence of warming surfaces wherever work with cells and embryos is carried out. First, it is the warming of the laminar tables (special sterile surfaces for procedures with embryos). The warming of consumables and media during the puncture stage in the operating room is very important, as well as the use of reliable incubators. In our center, we perform regular (2 times a day) temperature monitoring in the incubator using an independent device — a thermometer. The temperature is always displayed on the monitors of incubators, but additional outside control allows us to be sure that the displayed temperature corresponds to reality. The temperature in the room is also extremely important; it should be optimal and stable regardless of the season, heating period, outside temperature, time of day, etc. For this, a round-the-clock climate control system of the laboratory is used; even at night, the responsible clinic staff is able to check the temperature condition in the room.
Secondly, this are the culture media. Cells and embryos should be stored in an optimal and safe environment, so we work on media with an optimal content of all components; these are one-step media, which contain everything for the embryos development under optimal conditions for up to 5-6 days. All media are used only in accordance with manufacturer’s protocol.
Thirdly, these are modern incubators. In our clinic, we work on tablet incubators using a reduced oxygen content that favorably affects the embryos. In this case, the gases that enter the incubator must have the highest degree of purification. All the way from the gas cylinder to the incubator is equipped with additional purification filters, which should be changed regularly.
In general, the lab cleanliness is another very important component. Despite the presence of the permanent air filtration system and a local air filtration system on laminar tables (where the work is carried out), it is necessary to restrict the access of employees to the laboratory. You should agree that it is difficult to maintain cleanliness and sterility, where there is a very large number of employees and constant walking in a clean zone.
A modern cryostorage is required for safe storage of biomaterial, equipped with the oxygen sensors — in case of a depressurization of Dewar vessels with a biomaterial.
However, the most important in the concept of “high-yield embryology” is an individual approach to procedures with embryos. In large IVF clinics, the procedures has been put on stream, the embryologist per shift must process a large batch of embryos and he does not have the opportunity to adapt to the nuances. At the same time, embryos are extremely sensitive and a shift of manipulation for 2-3 hours can destroy them. The embryologist in our clinic performs the procedures with each object individually, conducting all the necessary manipulations precisely at the optimal time for the given embryo.
This is precisely the principle of our IVF center activity — everything we do — we choose the best option in your particular case.