In our embryology laboratory, we have been using the latest GERI mini-incubators for over a year, and now we are bringing you results that clearly confirm the benefits of GERI incubators not only for laboratory work but mainly for patients.
GERI incubators have been developed by GENEA embryologists and meet all the prerequisites for great embryo culture conditions. Embryo quality significantly affects combinations of cultivation media, incubators and embryologist work. However, cultivation alone in these incubators increases the chances of success, as confirmed by a large group of patients – the difference against the MINC incubators we had used earlier, last year was more than 7 percentage points in the quality of embryos at the end of cultivation. This could actually mean 1 and 2 quality embryos – ie transfers – extra, which was more than 20 % difference.
The updated data from March 2018 on a large set of data show even better results – almost a third of the increase in the yield of high-quality embryos at the end of cultivation compared with previously standardized MINC incubators, a nearly 10 percentage point difference, which means increasing the success of embryo cultivation 28 % using GERI incubators.
Another bonus is continuous scanning of embryo development using the camera. Embryos are normally exposed to microscope light, laboratory lighting, and so on, in the IVF, and so light with such a short wavelength (400-500nm) can cause non-lethal stress in the embryos, which leads to a reduction in their development. However, GERI incubators use a spectrum of light of 550-650nm wavelength that does not negatively affect embryonic development. Thanks to time lapse imaging, we can better compare the embryos, which at first glance in the microscope evaluation look the same. Embryo development is normally evaluated only a few times during the six days of cultivation. Therefore, in order to prevent large fluctuations from optimal conditions for growth and development, this evaluation must be rapid and the time spent by the embryo outside the incubator must be reduced to a minimum. But this means that the embryologist evaluates the embryo under the microscope only on the basis of how it looks at one particular moment.
However, the same-looking embryos could develop quite differently – one of them could have even cellular development and the other not, suggesting their completely different chances of nesting and future pregnancy.
However, for every embryo that develops in the GERI incubator, a snapshot is taken every few minutes. The video produces a video that shows clearly how the embryo develops during the first days of life. Continuous scanning will allow the embryologist to sufficiently assess the development and provide him with enough information to select the best embryo to use.
Time-lapse, therefore, next to extended culture, is another tool for selecting a suitable embryo for use.
Even with an embryo that looks right, genetic defects can lead to its development or early abortion. Our data show that even in young women, up to a quarter of embryos in the blastocyst stage are genetically defective. These errors can be detected by PGS-NGS. Therefore, if we want to optimally select the embryos for transfer, we recommend combining the extended cultivation in the GERI mini-incubator and with PGS-NGS.
For the best IVF procedure, we consider the transfer of the thawed embryo in the natural cycle, so it will take a moment before we bring you a larger set of data confirming the results of our successful cultivation in the GERI incubators as well as the specific number of births.