EmbryoScope Time lapse incubator

There are numerous steps involved in achieving a successful pregnancy through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Once eggs have been collected and fertilised, the next step is to grow the resulting embryos in an artificial culture medium inside an incubator.

1–5 days after egg collection and the embryos being placed into an incubator, it is time to evaluate the development of the embryo and to select the embryo that is deemed to have the greatest likelihood of resulting in a healthy birth, ready for transfer to the womb.

It is this embryo selection process that is known as one of the greatest challenges of the IVF process.

How does traditional embryo selection work?

Traditionally embryologists remove embryo dishes from the incubator for a few minutes on days 1, 2, 3 & 5 post-egg collection to evaluate their development and quality. This means that optimal culture conditions are frequently disturbed.

It’s important that time spent outside of the incubator is limited, so as not to impact on embryo quality.

What is an EmbryoScope time lapse incubator?

EmbryoScope is the most widely used time-lapse incubator, used by IVF specialists globally.

 EmbryoScope is a self-contained time-lapse incubator with a built-in microscope and camera, which takes high quality images of each embryo through 11 focal planes every 10 minutes.  These images then form a video of each embryo’s development.

With EmbryoScope time-lapse technology, embryologists are able to monitor a patient’s embryos throughout the full course of their development without having to remove them from the safe environment of the incubator, which would be the normal process for traditional evaluation and selection.

Artificial intelligence-based embryo evaluation

Our EmbryoScope time lapse incubator uses artificial intelligence-based embryo evaluation to assist embryologists in making decisions about which embryos to transfer and /or freeze.

Embryos are given an objective score and ranked according to their likelihood to implant. This is done by using iDAScore, an AI-based data platform which has information about the development and clinical fate of over 180,000 embryos, allowing a quality score to be given to the embryos developing in the incubator.

The data that iDAScore uses represents a wide variety of patient profiles and clinical practices, including oocyte (developing egg) origin, IVF and ICSI, clinical protocols, and patients’ age. It includes data from both fresh and frozen embryos with known outcome.

What are the advantages of using time lapse incubators?

The time lapse incubator camera takes clear, high quality 3D images every 10 minutes through 11 focal planes. This produces extensive real time footage of the development of the embryos.

This footage can be accessed at any time by the embryologist, and as many times as they wish, without any risk to the health or viability of the embryo. Light exposure from the camera inside the incubator is minimal.

Therefore, instead of being limited to checking the embryos once per day, the embryologist has continuous access to view their ongoing development several times per day. They are also able to go back and review footage as many times as they wish for added accuracy in the embryo selection process.

The EmbryoScope Timelapse incubator presents numerous benefits:

  • Undisturbed embryo culture
  • Embryologists are more likely to capture any abnormal fertilisation or cleavage developments in the embryos and these can then be de-selected
  • The time-lapse data is a tool to support embryo selection, prioritising embryos for transfer and freezing
  • AI-based embryo evaluation to assist embryo selection
  • Reassurance for the embryologists that they are selecting the embryo with the best possible chance of resulting in a healthy birth

And there’s something else the time lapse incubator offers that could be considered very special to those who go on to successfully have a child following their fertility treatment.

Because the EmbryoScope time lapse incubator captures the very moment at which the chosen embryo is created, it creates a living memory of that first point of life.  

We offer patients using our time lapse incubator the option to receive a video of their embryo developing from the moment it enters the incubator to the day of embryo transfer, giving parents a truly special keepsake.

Who is the time lapse incubator for?

Time lapse incubators are suitable for anyone with fertilised eggs following IVF or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).

All our patients – NHS or Self-funded, will be given the option to pay an additional premium to use the EmbryoScope timelapse incubator.

Are you looking for personalised fertility treatment advice?

Hull & East Riding Fertility is a private fertility clinic. Established in 1986, we are East Yorkshire’s only registered clinic providing specialist infertility investigations and personalised treatment, both for self-funded and NHS patients.

We also offer a variety of investigatory and fertility treatment planning services at our satellite fertility clinics in York. For self-funding patients, there is no need for a GP referral. However, all patients are entitled as standard to basic NHS funded fertility investigations.

Whether you would like to learn more about the EmbryoScope time lapse incubator and how it supports our IVF and ICSI treatment programmes, or you are simply keen to discuss your options around starting a family, we would be delighted to welcome you at our clinic.

Please get in touch to let us know how we can help you.