Time Lapse: A new technology to improve success rate of IVF

Published: July 20, 2020 5:19 PM

Time-lapse imaging offers the potential of a novel and a non-invasive method of embryo selection with the greatest chances of implantation through in-depth study and analysis of the various stages of the embryo development.

To avoid such complications and strengthen the success rate of IVF, Time lapse technology is useful in improving the embryo selection. To avoid such complications and strengthen the success rate of IVF, Time lapse technology is useful in improving the embryo selection. (Representative image)

By Dr. Sagarika Aggarwal

The very motive of medical science is to aid in achieving better health of patients. This is the reason why new technologies are brought in every few years. The new technological and radical advancements in the field of IVF have the potential to boost the chances of delivering a healthy baby. Time Lapse technology is one such technology. The New Time lapse technology monitors the health of the embryos by capturing thousands of digital images from the moment of creation until implanting it in the uterus. Doctors are able to identify the embryos (usually out of 3) that are well developing and have least chances of miscarriages to ensure live birth.

The incubators are installed with the time lapse imaging technology and capture images of the embryo which is helpful for the IVF experts to study the morpho-kinetic growth of the embryo. Based on time intervals the cell division is analyzed and can be classified as a better implanting one. If the embryo follows a timely division, it is considered as a normal embryo with increased chances to successful implantation. Out of the 3 good looking embryos, this technology allows the best two to be implanted in the patient’s uterus depending on the morpho-kinetic division and the growth pattern.

Which embryo will be best implanted?

The images captured are studied deeply to gather complete information to identify which embryos have least or the maximum chances of having abnormal numbers of chromosomes (known as aneuploidy).

A healthy human embryo should contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. But any change in this number can lead to a reduced chance of a successful implantation leading to healthy live birth. As the technology allows potential screening of the embryos for a risk of abnormal chromosomes, is a boon for the doctors to increase the chances of successful IVF procedure.

Moreover, this technique allows non-invasive identification of the embryos which are less likely to have abnormal numbers of chromosomes and hence choosing the least risk embryo for implantation.

Having an abnormal number of chromosomes is one of the major reasons for the IVF cycle to be unsuccessful. This can either lead to failure in implantation in the womb or miscarriage in the later stages of pregnancy or child born with Down’s syndrome and other genetic anomalies.

To avoid such complications and strengthen the success rate of IVF, Time lapse technology is useful in improving the embryo selection. Time-lapse imaging provides the opportunity to give continuous, detailed information on how the embryo is growing.

How does the technology work?

Time-lapse imaging offers the potential of a novel and a non-invasive method of embryo selection with the greatest chances of implantation through in-depth study and analysis of the various stages of the embryo development.

The embryos develop and grow in the incubator attached with the time lapse imaging for the first five days. The system captures over 5000 pictures to analyze the various stages of its development.

Embryo development is monitored regularly at intervals and the information is analyzed using a computer. Earlier the embryo used to be removed from the incubator once in a day to study the changes under microscope. This technology is advantageous over the conventional method.

Depending on the method used, pictures can be captured with different time intervals. The shorter the time interval the more detailed information will be available for analysis. With the availability of inbuilt algorithms, the computer helps to choose the best embryos that stand a better chance of developing into a baby.

Why Time lapse technology preferred?

The embryos with chromosomal abnormalities make blastocyst after more than 100 hours. This technology allows for a precise understanding to identify the potential embryos at risk of having such abnormalities.

The timing of development of embryos from one stage to another stage is necessary to develop into a healthy baby and this technology is capable of identifying the delayed development of embryos. Even though under electron microscopy both may physically look the same but this technology differentiates their counterparts with delayed development (which stands a decreased chance of success).

The main advantage is that the time taken for an embryo to reach blastocyst stage can be determined which is crucial to be an indicator of good health.

This new technology thus carries the potential of a better selection of healthy embryos and thus more successful and healthier pregnancies.

(The author is Gynaecologist and IVF Expert at Indira IVF Hospital, New Delhi. Views expressed are personal.)

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Unlock 3.0 Delhi rules: Gyms, yoga institutes likely to remain shut in Delhi — check details
2After Amit Shah, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan tests positive for COVID-19
3Coronavirus treatment discovered? US scientists have found possible cure for COVID-19, says report