Incubators in an IVF lab
A temporary home for in vitro fertilization embryos before they are put in the uterus to continue life
We keep the eggs and embryos in the incubators. They are happier there. Incubators maintain a very constant and clean environment for embryo culture.
- The most commonly used environmental conditions for human IVF incubators are 5% CO2 in air, 37 degrees Centigrade, and 100% relative humidity.
- Regular air is about 78% nitrogen gas (N2) and 22% oxygen (O2). The CO2 content of air is less than one tenth of 1%.
- Some labs, including ours, culture embryos in a low oxygen system using approximately 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2.
Incubators are often stacked like this to save lab space The colored tape on the door of the upper unit is used to identify the location of a patient's eggs or embryos in the incubator before the door is opened This reduces the amount of time that the door has to remain open
The patient's chart, her paperwork, and sperm preparation materials are all color coded and all match her incubator label. This aids in identification - no 2 patients ever have the same color at the same time.
Here both of the doors are open so you can see inside The embryos are cultured in plastic dishes on the shelve
A close-up view of one of the shelves in the incubator A dish containing embryos looks like this