How to translate text using browser tools
12 October 2011 Rethinking In Vitro Embryo Culture: New Developments in Culture Platforms and Potential to Improve Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Gary D. Smith, Shuichi Takayama, Jason E. Swain
Author Affiliations +

The preponderance of research toward improving embryo development in vitro has focused on manipulation of the chemical soluble environment, including altering basic salt composition, energy substrate concentration, amino acid makeup, and the effect of various growth factors or addition or subtraction of other supplements. In contrast, relatively little work has been done examining the physical requirements of preimplantation embryos and the role culture platforms or devices can play in influencing embryo development within the laboratory. The goal of this review is not to reevaluate the soluble composition of past and current embryo culture media, but rather to consider how other controlled and precise factors such as time, space, mechanical interactions, gradient diffusions, cell movement, and surface interactions might influence embryo development. Novel culture platforms are being developed as a result of interdisciplinary collaborations between biologists and biomedical, material, chemical, and mechanical engineers. These approaches are looking beyond the soluble media composition and examining issues such as media volume and embryo spacing. Furthermore, methods that permit precise and regulated dynamic embryo culture with fluid flow and embryo movement are now available, and novel culture surfaces are being developed and tested. While several factors remain to be investigated to optimize the efficiency of embryo production, manipulation of the embryo culture microenvironment through novel devices and platforms may offer a pathway toward improving embryo development within the laboratory of the future.

© 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Gary D. Smith, Shuichi Takayama, and Jason E. Swain "Rethinking In Vitro Embryo Culture: New Developments in Culture Platforms and Potential to Improve Assisted Reproductive Technologies," Biology of Reproduction 86(3), 62-, (12 October 2011).
Received: 19 August 2011; Accepted: 1 October 2011; Published: 12 October 2011
dynamic culture
embryo culture
surface coating
Get copyright permission
Back to Top