What is the Embryoscope?

EmbryoScope® is an incubator that uses time-lapse technology, as well as incorporating an algorithm that helps with embryo selection.

This pioneering technique allows embryo cell division to be recorded and viewed on a monitor in real time, capturing moments from the beginning of life. In addition, we have algorithms that allow us to handle more information to select the embryos with the greatest potential to implant in the womb.

In what cases is it indicated?

The use of the EmbryoScope® incubator is recommended for:

  • Assisted reproduction patients (IVF, egg donation, embryo donation), especially for those with a high number of embryos, as this means they can select those of the best quality and highest potential to achieve pregnancy in a much more precise way.

Advantages of the EmbryoScope® in relation to traditional incubators

  • It maintains the culture conditions intact and reduces the handling of the embryo. Embryos that grow in traditional incubators are removed at certain times throughout their development in order to examine them under a microscope. Although these intervals are very short, the environmental conditions are altered in that time. Because the Embryoscope® offers the possibility to view the morphological and cell division characteristics without the need to remove the embryos from the incubator, the environmental stress experienced by the embryo is reduced. This results in greater competence and higher implantation and pregnancy rates.
  • Improves the embryonic selection. By using time-lapse technology, EmbryoScope® provides accurate information not only about the “appearance” of the embryo, but also about cell divisions and the speed at which they occur. Thanks to this information we have been able to discover that there are optimal periods of division in which embryos are more likely to implant in the womb, as well as other behaviour indicating totally the opposite. This has allowed us to design mathematical models that help us predict the viability of the embryo. All this information makes it easier for us to evaluate embryonic quality in a much more precise way, taking into account factors that would otherwise go unnoticed.
  • It gives the parents-to-be more information about the embryo and provides a film record of the medical beginnings of their future baby’s life.

90% of patients who undergo an assisted reproduction treatment at IVI become pregnant.


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IVI provides personalised care and support during all stages of treatment.


IVI is a pioneer in the latest assisted reproduction technology in order to present the best results.


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What is involved in embryo selection?

The conventional way of rating embryonic quality is for embryologists to extract embryo cultures every day from their respective incubators and, with the use of microscopes, to evaluate numerous morphological parameters (number of cells, symmetry, percentage of fragments, etc.). This way, they are assigned a quality grade, which allows them to identify the best embryos and thus select the best one to be transferred to the mother’s uterus.

In this sense, the definition of the “optimal embryo” (due to its greater potential for implantation) remains a relatively imprecise and highly subjective concept, and in our laboratories this is minimized thanks to highly specialized training and the experience of our embryologists.

EmbryoScope® time-lapse technology provides hugely valuable information allowing our professionals to select from a group of embryos the ones with the greatest potential to implant and lead to a full term pregnancy.

In addition, it enables us to explain those cases in which apparently good quality embryos do not implant. In these cases, we very often discover phenomena that would not have been detected without continuous monitoring, but thanks to time-lapse it can be distinguished.

Thus, whenever the case allows, IVI recommends prolonged embryo culture until day 5 or 6, as we trust our culture conditions and, this way, we get more information about each embryo’s potential, taking us one step closer to helping our patients achieve their dream to have a baby.

The definition of what represents a “perfect embryo” and the choice of those with the best potential for implantation are still very imprecise concepts, and the ability (or lack of ability) to estimate embryo competence correctly has become a critical point of the process. As a result, the selection options and strategies used will depend on all of the information that we can find out about the embryo.

The morphological and growth criteria which are currently used for evaluating embryo viability on day 3 either underestimate or overestimate their potential for development. In light of the uncertainty associated with the morphological examination on day 3, some reproduction centres have opted for a longer cultivation period for evaluating embryo competence. While the morphological examination method has the advantage of being simple, non-invasive and quick, it has the disadvantage of being highly subjective and requiring specialised training and a certain degree of experience, and there is little hope for its standardisation.

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