In vitro fertilization (IVF) process, as a whole, is overseen by the principles of gametes and embryos’ science, hence, it is expected that the design, equipment/ devices, and operational systems provide an optimal environment for them within the laboratory.
It is mandatory for an IVF laboratory to safeguard the egg cells, sperm cells, and embryos from any forms of both physiological stresses and adverse outside factors. With these in mind, IVF practitioners must choose equipment that are intended and engineered to keep the correct biochemical and biophysical settings for each step of the IVF process. This should include the routine calibration and maintenance of the equipment to guarantee that it is fit for purpose.
Several kinds of workstations are necessary in the IVF laboratory so that crucial duties can be carried out under the appropriate physicochemical conditions: management (assessment and handling) of oocytes and embryos; micromanipulation workstations (in the case of ICSI); processing of specimen during cryopreservation and thawing/warming processes; and the preparation of culture dishes.
An IVF workstation (like the Esco Medical Multi-zone ART Workstation – MAW) is a device wherein air is taken in from above the cabinet and passes through an ULPA filter. The filtered air is then passed through the main chamber in a vertical laminar (unidirectional) air stream before being exhausted through the front opening.
The idea is to achieve the best possible controlled environment for gametes and embryos during the various procedures and low noise level in the workstation for one’s comfort. Furthermore, they are specifically designed for aseptic handling of oocytes, sperm cells, and embryos to minimize microbial contamination.
The Esco Medical Multi-zone ART Workstation:
Main Features of the Esco MAW:
- Touchscreen Monitor: This is a fully functional Windows PC with additional features. It displays the temperature of the heated surface, as well as the gas flow and pressure.
- Multi-Zone Heating System with Four (4) Temperature Modes: 1 set point, 10 independent zones with their own heating elements and sensors allow excellent uniformity. The heating system will automatically prioritize power distribution to ensure effective temperature control with fast recovery.
- Humidification System: This allows digital control of premixed gas which enables complete environmental control for the samples.
- Heated Glass Stage: With an uninterrupted power supply, this feature further enhances the temperature control and recovery in this zone.
- Microscope Integration Provision: The integrated stereoscope in the work chamber allows users to maintain culture dishes at steady temperature during observation and manipulation.
- Stainless Steel Tabletop: The main material used in the tabletop surface is stainless steel that is non-radiating and non-toxic; while aluminum is used to cover the bottom of the tabletop.
Key Benefits of Using a MAW in your fertility and andrology lab:
- The noise level is kept very low (less than 55dB).
- The pH and osmolarity are controlled with a built-in gassing and humidifying system.
- Flushing CO2 gas mixtures maintain correct pH.
- Prevents the frequent openings of incubators.
- Temperature is controlled with a built-in heated area in the table plate.
- Maximum work area in a well-lit laminar flow cabinet, flushed with a vertical flow of ULPA filtered air.
- Microscope already in use and microscopes purchased separately can be built-into the workstation.
- A computer-controlled IVF workstation is capable of providing a record of documented parameters, and automatically transfers data.