Frisco, TX (PRWEB) January 30, 2013
The Frisco Institute for Reproductive Medicine (FIRM) is researching new time-lapse technology to photograph and monitor the development of embryos used for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The technology is only being researched by a handful of facilities in the country and aims to help improve the probability of pregnancy while mitigating the possibility for multiple births.
In vitro fertilization has been a successful way for fertility specialists to improve a patient’s chances of conception. It involves fertilizing a patient’s egg outside of the woman’s body and allowing embryologists to observe the embryo development process to pick the most likely 5-day-old embryo (blastocysts) candidates for pregnancy. Typically, two or more blastocysts might be transferred into the woman’s uterus to improve the chances of conception; however, this practice has frequently led to multiple gestations.
Partnering with Vitrolife, a global biotechnology company based in Sweden, FIRM aims to study the embryonic time-lapse technology firsthand. The technology would allow the embryology team at FIRM to closely monitor the development of embryos in the period following fertilization and choose only the best candidates for transfer into the uterus. The embryos are cultured in an advanced incubator containing a computer-controlled microscope/camera capturing device that uses low-intensity intermittent light to photograph the developing embryos. Photographs are taken every 5 minutes over the 6-day period following fertilization, creating a real-time video representation of the embryo growth once the images are strung together.
“Time lapse videography…is a very exciting development in our constant quest to identify the best embryos to transfer back into the uterus,” remarked Dr. Rinku Mehta, the Medical Director at FIRM. “Currently the most commonly employed tool is to select the embryos based on their morphologic appearance and cell number. With the development of this new technology we are hoping to get more objective evidence with regards to the rate of division of an embryo and its ability to result in a live birth.”
The incubators allow the embryos to remain undisturbed as they are being monitored by the embryology team. Additionally, the embryos can be observed remotely from an office or from home, providing more opportunities for the embryo development and growth to be evaluated. The infertility team can now gain new information about the precise occurrence of fertilization, as well as the exact timing of initial and subsequent cell divisions.
Embryologists can view the growing embryos side-by-side to compare the unique developmental behaviors of each embryo. The captured video gives the team an even closer look at the morphology of each embryo, making it easier to distinguish a superior embryo specimen to be deposited into the uterus. Hoping the technology will help prevent the occurrences of multiple births, Dr. Mehta continued, “If this technology produces the right results, we hope to get better with the selection of the embryo and be able to confidently offer single embryo transfer to more patients.”
Based in Frisco, TX, The Frisco Institute for Reproductive Medicine is determined to make pregnancy possible for hopeful parents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As a highly successful fertility treatment cente r, FIRM features some of the most internationally esteemed scientists and physicians in the field of assisted reproduction, many of whom have been regularly featured in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Visit http://friscoinfertility.com/ to see how FIRM can help you begin your family.