Embryonic time – lapse monitoring
In 2011, the implementation of the time lapse embryo development monitoring method has revolutionized embryology because it has changed both the way embryos are monitored as well as embryologists’ understanding of how they can now select the best embryos.
This is a specially designed incubator that continuously monitors and records each embryo on a 24-hour basis, from fertilization to embryo transfer. The video of the system is connected to the PC or smartphone software, from which the embryos are monitored.
With the time- lapse method we are able to:
- know each time phase of cell division, to identify fragments in cells and to record the most important events during in vitro embryo culture,
- better select embryos: until now we had to leave the embryos develop until they reach the stage of the blastocyst, which incurred risks. Selection can now be made at no risk at all,
- check at any time the embryos inside the incubator without being in the lab and without having to open the incubators since we can use the software from a remote location or on the smartphone.
The time lapse method has practically changed the way embryology is taught by biologists, since we have switched from static image embryology to the time of dynamic image embryology. Studies show that it is important to record the times of first and second cell division as it correlates with the further development and quality of embryos. We can also record fragmentation in the cell cytoplasm. Time lapse showed that most fragments are reversible and can be resorbed in 9 nine hours on average, and that fragments occurring at a fixed time have a high influence on in vitro embryo development. Conventional daily “static” monitoring fails to detect most of these fragments.
Dr. Ioannidis now applies this method to most of his cases with excellent results.