Fertility Blog

Developments in Embryo Culture Systems

by Dr. Susan Daniel

In the IVF laboratory, embryos are grown in culture medium in plastic dishes. The embryos are moved to fresh medium or to different types media from time-to-time, but the system is static. It is a quite different from the dynamic environment an embryo would encounter in the body.

Dr, Gary Smith at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has spent many years working on the development of a new dynamic culture system in which embryos are grown on plastic chips. Fresh medium containing various nutrients and hormones is pulsed over the embryo in regular intervals. Recent work has demonstrated that embryos grow better in the dynamic system when compared to embryos grown under conventional static culture conditions. Dr. Smith hopes that the new system will enhance pregnancy rates in IVF.

“IVF success rates boosted by a bed of nails”. 30 July 2011. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128234.300-ivf-success-rates-boosted-by-a-bed-of-nails.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news