For the preparation of the IVF laboratory we have to take into account many factors, such as the environmental conditions of the laboratory, the culture system and the procedures that we will have to perform in each case depending on the needs of each patient or couple.
Laboratory environmental conditions must be controlled at all times, factors such as temperature, environment and humidity must be kept constant throughout the year so as not to affect the stability of the microscopes, working cabinets and embryo incubators. We also have to control the presence of volatile organic compounds, which must be kept at very low levels in the laboratory environment as they are highly toxic to our embryos. These compounds are found in many plastics that we avoid in the laboratory, but we must also avoid perfumes, make-up, nail polish, deodorants and cleaning products that contain large amounts of these compounds.Finally, we must minimise the possible presence of environmental contaminants such as microorganisms and particles, these are controlled exhaustively and kept at very low levels at all times by means of complex air filtering systems that achieve a clean environment and allow us to obtain the best conditions for optimal human embryo culture. In addition to all this, we have another security system that prevents the entry of all these contaminants from outside the IVF laboratory, the system consists of introducing between 5 and 10 times the total volume of air in the laboratory previously filtered every hour, with this a positive pressure is achieved inside the laboratory which means that nothing on a microscopic scale can enter the IVF laboratory, keeping it free of these contaminants.
For this reason, this year 2023 we have incorporated a wireless system for continuous monitoring of all the aforementioned parameters to increase the quality of our treatments and improve the results for our patients. This system has an on-line platform that sends the data in real time and keeps a history of all these measurements. If any of the parameters is out of range, it sends immediate notifications so that it can be resolved in a short space of time. As it is wireless, we can monitor all the rooms in our laboratory without having to interrupt our daily routine to install it.
In addition, we have included a mobile workstation that offers flexibility and safety in our IVF laboratory.
This is the Smart Station mobile workstation, an integral, enclosed workstation cabin that substantially improves the working environment for IVF procedures. It is a cabin with a heated stainless steel surface, HEPA filter (to control VOCs (volatile organic compounds), flow control, CO2 control, temperature control, thus minimising changes during embryo manipulation.
Oocyte retrieval, fertilisation verification, embryo development assessment, preparation for embryo transfer and embryo or gamete manipulation in general are among some of the tasks that can be performed easily, comfortably and safely at this workstation. The Smart Station is ergonomic, allowing the height to be adapted to each specialist and, as it is a mobile station, it can be transported to the different rooms in our laboratory without the embryos undergoing any change.
The last of this year's improvements has been the acquisition of the RI Integra 3™ microinjector which aims to ensure the best possible conditions for ICSI and sample handling.
During the microinjection (ICSI) process, temperature and time are critical within an ART laboratory. The RI Integra 3™ is ultra-sensitive, fast and easy to use, thanks to the RI's advanced mechanical design.
Unlike other microinjectors, the size of the heated stage has been increased to avoid and reduce temperature changes that could affect the gametes during processing.
It also features the Thermosafe™ system, an integral heating system that helps maintain samples at the optimal temperature. It emits hot air precisely and evenly into the Petri dish. In addition, it has a temperature status indicator light to ensure that the integrated heating system is working properly.
Its key features are:
- No cold spots: Thermosafe™ maintains the sample temperature with a gentle stream of warm air under the Petri dish.
- Quick: Micropipette Quick Setup
- Practical: LED light with motion sensor for improved visibility when changing targets
- Safe: The heating system status indicator light and alarm monitor every second of the process. A record is kept of each activated alarm.
- Integrated: Large built-in mechanical platen with temperature controllers, easy access buttons and touchscreen display
- Precise: New extra-fine mechanisms for smooth and precise movement of the stage and micropipettes.
- Direct access to video and images: any stage of the process can be recorded or photographed.