What is Time Lapse Technology?
Time Lapse Incubators are high tech Incubators that have a built-in camera for automated time-lapse imaging of the embryos in culture. This means that after placing a fertilized oocyte in the incubator, the technician need not remove it for checking growth at multiple times until the time of Embryo Transfer or Freezing/ cryopreservation of Embryo’s.
Continuous images of the embryos are captured as a video, allowing embryologist to monitor the embryos constantly and capture any new information about their growth. Selection of embryos that are more likely to implant successfully in a hopeful mother-to-be’s womb, is possible based on this data.
What are the Advantages of using Time Lapse Incubator
Some of the advantages are:
- Improves Embryo selection
- Less manipulation of embryos reduces risk of harm
- Provides a non-invasive way of evaluating embryo
- Predicting Chromosomal Abnormalities
- As fewer embryos will be transferred through a more efficient selection the number of higher risk multiple pregnancies decrease
Does Time Lapse imaging improve chance of conception?
Most fertilized embryos today are kept in traditional incubator and embryologists can only check on them once or twice a day by removing them from the incubator for a short period of time without disturbing the embryo’s environment.
Technically with a Time Lapse an Embryologist can touch a screen and watch in detail an embryo’s development moment by moment. They can check for abnormalities and developmental milestones such as cell division, which can make a difference in the embryo’s ability to implant, without removing them from incubator, hence minimizing any risks.
However various studies done so far on the Time Lapse Technology has shown no good evidence that Time lapse is more or less efficient and effective as compared to conventional benchtop incubators. Also, Time Lapse Incubators are significantly costlier and hence offering it to all patients and charging them additional cost without the evidence of superiority is not logical.