An IVF EmbryoScope was recently developed by the biotechnology company Unisense FertiliTech. The device is an incubator with an built-in microscope and camera that allows fertility specialists to observe and record the development of an embryo for up to five days following fertilization.
The resulting video allows the fertility doctor to select the best embryo for implantation.
The Embryoscope is being tested under trial in the UK, with 74 women currently pregnant after its use.
The first successful birth occurred recently. Isabella Potter will one day be able to view herself as a developing embryo.
The benefit of the Embyoscope is the ability to image the embryos in a closed system. This decreases the amount of handling of the samples.
Furthermore, since the device records time lapse images, doctors are able to view a series of time points in the embryo’s development and not just single snapshots.
The technique is believed to improve pregnancy rates, with a previous study reporting a 44% increase in rates.
Use of the system will cost patients an additional £750 per cycle.
Original news article: http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_142095.asp