In vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics grow in numbers over the years because of the increase in demand for infertility treatment. One of the many factors that contributed to this is the increasing presence of IVF technology concepts, news, and articles across available media platforms (television, newspapers, social media, etc.). With this in mind, IVF incubator manufacturers like Esco Medical innovate to provide solutions to help treat infertility worldwide.
IVF technology requires incubators that serve as temporary housing of embryos that are transferred back to the female partner for implantation. These IVF incubators are designed to mimic the environment of a woman's uterus that helps in the development of the embryo. There are three types of incubators that are present in the market today namely dry, humidified, and time-lapse incubators.
Dry culture system is basically an embryo culture system without the presence of humidity. Incubators with this kind of culture system are most often seen in the United States and Europe which have already transitioned from humidified to dry culture systems. Dry incubators are less susceptible to contamination because there is no build-up of bacteria, unlike humidified IVF incubators. This kind of incubator is also easier to maintain because there is no regular changing and refill of water on the humidification bottles or water pans.
A dry IVF multiroom incubator for embryo culture with 6 independent chambers preventing cross-contamination without causing any disturbance to the neighboring chambers even when the lids are opened/closed. Having a built-in trigas system, the MIRI® can work on either premixed gas or pure gas inserts of N2 and CO2 which are cheaper and gives the user more flexibility when it comes to changing culture condition protocols. The MIRI line of incubators also boasts its excellent temperature and gas recovery rates of <1 minute and <3 minutes, respectively. With its superior gas system, HEPA/VOC filtration helps with ensuring recirculated gas in the incubator is clean.
The MIRI® II Multiroom is the latest addition to the MIRI® line of IVF incubators. This dry incubator dedicates one chamber for one patient. It has 12 chambers that are completely independent of each other. Any disruption on one chamber (e.g. temperature drop after opening the lid) has zero impact on the rest of the system. It has a touchscreen PC to control and monitor important parameters (temperature, gas concentration) simultaneously and give a visual and audible alarm to signal critical conditions. This incubator is best suited for minimal stimulation protocols having fewer eggs harvested per patient than other stimulation protocols.
For customers prioritizing footprint and affordability, The Mini MIRI® Dry Incubator is a scaled-down version of the classic MIRI® Multiroom Incubator. The Mini MIRI® has two independent chambers both having heated lid and bottom to ensure excellent temperature uniformity to ensure optimal culture conditions for embryo development. All MIRI® IVF incubators also have a data logger system that continually monitors and documents temperature, gas flows, gas concentration, and pressure.
Humidified culture system is the first culture system used for IVF technology incubators. This culture system was used on box-type incubators and small benchtop incubators that have humidification bottles or water pans to create the humidified environment inside the incubator.
The CelCulture® CO2 incubator offers rapid temperature and gas recovery, ISO Class 5 cleanliness, ISOCIDE™ antimicrobial coating, and an inner door kit to reduce contamination risk. The CelCulture® CO2 Incubator is designed to replicate the natural environment for developing embryos by maintaining low levels of oxygen. It comes in different capacity models to suit every IVF clinic needs: 50L model with 2 sections; 170L model with 4 sections; 240L model with 4 or 6 sections. This IVF incubator is also certified embryo-safe having 100% embryo survival on Mouse Embryo Assay (MEA) testing.
The Mini MIRI® Humidity Incubator is a humidified incubator built on the robust and reliable MIRI® design. The compact design and direct heat regulation further translate to faster temperature and gas recovery. All MIRI® IVF incubators have a variety of heating optimization plates that are compatible with the common brands of culture dishes available in the market.
Time-Lapse culture system is the most modern type of embryo culture system available in the IVF industry. This culture system made it possible to have zero disturbance during the duration of the whole embryo culture period while having all the data needed to properly annotate embryos outside its desired culture conditions. This technology also made it possible to identify markers to perform better embryo selection in order to achieve pregnancy in the shortest time possible.
The MIRI® Time-Lapse Incubator is a multiroom incubator with a built-in camera and microscope. Designed and manufactured in the EU, the MIRI® Time-Lapse Incubator provides high-quality time-lapse images of embryos developing in "real-time" without having to remove the embryos from the safety of the incubation chamber for manual microscopy. Time-lapse embryo monitoring provides detailed morphokinetic data throughout embryo development, which is not available on routine spot microscopic evaluation. This allows all important events to be observed, helping to identify healthy embryos with the highest probability of implantation, with the aim of achieving higher pregnancy rates. It is also possible to integrate SAFE Sens technology into the MIRI® TL and other MIRI® IVF incubators for continuous pH monitoring without opening the chamber which is a great additional feature to ensure optimal embryo development.
Choosing the right incubator is vital to the success of embryo cultures. IVF clinics are in need of incubators that will be suitable for the clinic's culture system and environment.
Shifting from one culture system to another is not a bad idea as innovations eventually help increase pregnancy success rates. It will require ample research and an effective protocol for the new culture system. At Esco Medical, we provide educational webinars led by credible speakers in the IVF industry. We aim to help customers improve their laboratory practices, in turn, increasing pregnancy success rates in their respective clinics.