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Close-up observation of the embryo

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Eugin’s laboratory uses the time-lapse technology. This tool allows the embryo to be monitored without interruption

Close-up observation of the embryo

“It’s really impressive to think that in nine months’ time, this tiny embryo I can see today will be converted into a child”. Dr. Albert Obradors, director of the laboratory at Eugin Clinic, has been monitoring the evolution of embryos for over ten years, but he admits that this fascinating process never ceases to amaze him.

During the first few days of the life of an embryo, a series of astounding changes takes place. Once the oocyte has been inseminated, it starts to divide up into cells which become smaller and smaller until it can be transferred to the uterus. This process can be observed close-up thanks to time-lapse, a tool that enables the embryo to be monitored continuously by taking a sequence of photographs.

Safe and sound in the incubator

The images are obtained discreetly while the embryo is safe and sound in the incubator, without suffering any kind of external disturbance. Thus, thanks to time-lapse, it is no longer necessary to open the incubator to remove the embryo and observe its morphology. In this way, a video is obtained of its first few days of life without altering the optimum conditions for its development: the embryo is not aware that we are witnessing its evolution.

Apart from the emotional experience of the future parents who are able to watch the development of the embryo in full detail, experts do not rule out the possibility that in the future, the use of time-lapse will bring about improvements in the chances of becoming pregnant.

A potential which has yet to be discovered

So it is possible that we will soon be able to select the embryo with the best options of generating a pregnancy, based on the information shown in the images obtained with time-lapse. According to Dr. Obradors, “Although we cannot yet affirm that this tool improves the clinical results of in vitro fertilisation treatment, the truth is that various studies exist that point in this direction”.

Eugin has no doubts about making this technology available to its patients. The clinic is well aware of its current possibilities and will continue to investigate its potential uses in the future.

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