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Why gas and temperature stability matter


When embryos are cultured in the lab, they are housed in incubators where gas and temperature levels are closely monitored to mimic the environment of a woman’s fallopian tube. The moment embryos are exposed to the unstable environment; they may suffer from undesirable shock or stress. Thus, the incubator plays as one of the most important pieces in every IVF laboratory.

During observation, embryos are removed from the incubator. Such process requires a frequent opening of the incubator causing a change in gas concentration and rapid temperature drop. Any drastic changes in gas concentration and temperature may cause a detrimental effect on the normal development of the embryo. Regulating the CO2 concentration is of paramount importance as this helps control the pH of the culture medium, with significant impact on gamete function and embryo development.1 Maintaining the right temperature is also important as it affects meiotic spindle stability and possibly embryo metabolism.2
Esco Medical benchtop incubators provide a robust solution with its smaller compartment, aiming to provide faster temperature and gas recovery. After opening a chamber, the parameters in the incubator return to its normal condition 5-6 times better than conventional box incubators.