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Fertility Clinic Spain incorporates state-of-the-art incubator for embryo culture

28-Nov-2011

Clinica Fertia, a top fertility clinic in Spain, has incorporated these new state-of-the-art incubators for embryo culture into the clinic’s laboratory. These low-oxygen incubators offer an increased chance of healthy embryo development due to having growing conditions similar to the womb.

The state-of-the-art incubators for embryo culture with low oxygen concentrations have increased effectiveness and safety for assisted reproduction treatments.

The main candidates who will benefit from this growing technique are those patients who have suffered repeated implantation failures or those who respond to medication only slightly and therefore produce just a few oocytes. Patients who medically have up to now been considered to be low responders and who have had a bad prognosis are potential candidates for this growing technique.

Previously the embryos were cultured at concentrations around 20% oxygen, which is different from the natural conditions found in vivo, where oxygen tension is between 2-8%.

However with this new incubator is possible to maintain the embryos in atmospheres with low oxygen concentration, around 5%, which means that this equipment is designed to keep growing conditions similar to the womb.

These low oxygen concentrations pose less stress to the embryos as they are related to the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules derived from oxygen such as superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, etc. which act as oxidizing agents, capable of altering the function and structure of many molecules.

Sometimes this fact compromises the viability of the embryo. Under physiological conditions (in vivo) there is a balance between free radicals levels and the antioxidant capacity of the cell. An increase in the concentration of free radicals breaks this balance triggering oxidative stress. For this reason, the decrease in free radicals in the environment surrounding the embryo is an improvement in embryo quality and, ultimately, the outcome of assisted reproduction.

Another advantage of this new type of culture is the possibility of increasing the number of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage, which occurs between the fifth and sixth days of development. Blastocysts are known to have a much higher implantation potential than embryos, but instead only one in three would previously reach this stage.

In summary, this new technology will improve the quality of embryos and therefore the number of viable pregnancies. This offers more reassurance for those who are currently dealing with the very difficult issue of infertility.

For more information about this new technique, please do not hesitate to contact the lab.

 

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Spain

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