Could your incubators be compromising embryo development?

Sub-optimal conditions in your incubators can seriously compromise your blastocyst rates and can even kill your oocytes and embryos. Luckily, our scientific advisor, Dr Stroebech has three helpful tips to optimise your incubators.

1) Monitor daily temperature and gas concentrations in your incubator

One useful way to monitor your incubator conditions is to have log sheets and write down the temperature and gas conditions first thing each morning.

BO-Oil temperature check

There are several devices on the market that allow for accurate monitoring of atmospheric conditions within the incubator. Get in touch with a member of our team today for our recommendations!

Do not trust the incubator’s display – Dr Stroebech’s incubators contain several thermometers placed in tubes containing BO-Oil. This ensures complete confidence that the temperature conditions within the incubators are optimal.

2) Ensure there is nothing toxic in your incubator

It is hugely important that incubators do not contain anything that will contribute to making the environment toxic. This includes cell culture bottles, non-IVF approved plasticware, plastic tape and anything else other than embryos and IVF grade plasticware.

Tip from Dr Stroebech:

To help prevent bacterial and fungal growth – store a piece of copper (or a copper coin) in the water of your incubator.

3) Are your incubator settings suitable for your altitude?

The relationship between the concentration of CO2 and pH is incredibly important for successful bovine IVP. Sub-optimal levels of CO2 will in turn lead to sup-optimal pH, potentially compromising embryo development. This is due to the alternating levels of carbonic acid, which contribute hugely to pH levels.

When laboratory altitude increases, total atmospheric pressure decreases. As a result of this, the portion of atmospheric CO2 also decreases which has a knock on effect by increasing the alkalinity of the media.

Altitude affects atmospheres

Therefore, you will need to adjust the CO2 levels in your incubator in regards to your altitude, to achieve the correct atmospheric conditions and pH.

Contact our team for tailored advice on the recommended adjustments in terms of your altitude.

Successful IVP is all in the little details, so be a “control freak” and make sure your incubators are not compromising your hard work.

In addition to our existing printable worksheets, we have developed a worksheet to laminate and stick to your incubator, for simplified monitoring of your incubator’s environment.

Download the NEW Incubator Log Sheet here