Today we talk to Procreatec’s embryologist Nagore Uriarte about the latest technology used in the ProcreaTec lab. We also look at how this technology has affected the centre’s success rates after almost one year.
What advantages have you observed through using the embryoscope in your work as an embryologist?
As we outlined in several videos and recent news posts, the embryoscope is a cutting-edge incubator. Not only can it be used to continuously monitor embryo culture conditions but, from the time microinjection takes place, it also enables us to monitor the development of eggs and future embryos without removing them from the incubator.
In terms of embryo selection, it has proved an extremely useful tool because we are able to obtain hundreds of photographs every day of the same embryo, compared with a single photograph of the embryo if the embryos are kept in a standard incubator.
The photographs obtained using the embryoscope are used to create a video which enables us to make a detailed assessment of the embryo’s development. This, in turn, means that as well as selecting embryos that have a good morphological appearance we can also select those which show synchronous development during the time they are kept in the lab.
Have pregnancy rates increased as a result of using the new incubator over recent months?
To confirm that pregnancy rates have improved, we need to wait until we have obtained more data. However, we have noted an improvement in the rate of embryos which reach blastocyst stage (day five of embryonic development), and we are also able to provide affected people with more detailed information about their embryos.
Is the possibility of embryo selection improved now that the embryo stage can be observed 24 hours around the clock?
Obtaining continuous information on embryo development enables the embryos with the highest implantation potential to be selected. However, it’s also important to highlight the emotional aspect – people being treated at Procreatec feel reassured knowing that their embryos are being monitored constantly and will be evaluated using one of the most advanced instruments currently available.
What potential improvements have been noted following the addition of this new technology in the ProcreaTec lab?
Personally, I think that the embryoScope offers all lab staff more reassurance due to its sophisticated system of quality control and monitoring of internal gas concentrations, which are vital during an embryo’s first days.
After having used the embryoscope for some time, do you think it is essential? Are there any circumstances in which greater success or benefits have been noted for all types of affected people?
So far we have not established any type of affected person that is most suitable for treatment with the EmbryoScope, as we believe that affected people cannot be grouped, and that every situation is unique. However, I think that the embryoscope is helping us to observe multinucleated cells (each cell must have only one nucleus), which is associated with abnormal embryo development. Therefore, the embryoscope is a good option for IVF using a couple’s own gametes, and also with egg donation.
With the goal of providing a service of excellence and ensuring unbeatable success rates, Procreatec is at the forefront of assisted reproduction technology and uses the most advanced technology available in its facilities.