Optimizing the culture environment and embryo manipulation to help maintain embryo developmental potential

Optimizing in vitro fertilization laboratory procedures is essential to improve and maintain embryo viability.

Jason E. Swain, Ph.D., Doug Carrell, Ph.D., Ana Cobo, Ph.D., Marcos Meseguer, Ph.D., Carmen Rubio, Ph.D., Gary D. Smith, Ph.D.

Volume 105, Issue 3, Pages 571-587


With increased use of comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS), the question remains as to why some practices do not experience the same high levels of clinical success after implementation of the approach. Indeed, the debate surrounding the efficacy and usefulness of blastocyst biopsy and CCS continues. Importantly, several variables impact the success of an assisted reproductive technology cycle. Transfer of a euploid embryo is but one factor in an intricate system that requires numerous steps to occur successfully. Certainly, the culture environment and the manipulations of the embryo during its time in the laboratory can impact its reproductive potential. Environmental stressors ranging from culture media to culture conditions and even culture platform can impact biochemical, metabolic, and epigenetic patterns that can affect the developing cell independent of chromosome number. Furthermore, accompanying procedures, such as biopsy and vitrification, are complex and, when performed improperly, can negatively impact embryo quality. These are areas that likely still carry room for improvement within the IVF laboratory.

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