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4
January
2020

Quality control (QC) concerning pH, temperature and osmolality in the embryology lab

By Rahul Manoj, Embryologist on January 4, 2020

The efficiency of the embryology lab protocols can be improved by conducting regular QC to more effectively help the patients to conceive. Achieving and maintaining the optimum culture system is a must and foremost factor that enhance IVF success.

Whereas the main physical factors of concern that can be controlled are pH, temperature and osmolality of IVF culture media. Temperature,pHandosmolarityareinterconnectedwhere the increase in temperature leads to evaporation of the water content present in the media and thereby increasing the salt concentration.An increase in the salt concentration makes the media hypertonic meanwhile alteration in the pH is more likely to happen at this stage. These serve as the key factors which reflect the efficient and consistent of the IVF success.

Temperature:

  • Monitoring and documenting the heat of the lab, incubator, refrigerator, and freezer serves as an essential step to overcome temperature influenced effects
  • Media contains carbohydrates and vitamins which can undergo denaturation if there is an increase in optimum storage temperature and proteins can experience deamination if there is an increase in temperature
  • If storage temperature decreases subzero level, there will be a formation of ice crystals with the excess water content in the media
  • Maintaining optimum temperature during dish preparation (22⁰C) and gamete and embryo handling (37⁰C) play a crucial role in QC. Heat can be measured using a thermometer

pH:

  • pH change mainly depends upon the storage temperature, exposure of media to atmospheric gases, incubator CO2 concentration, improper equilibration of the media and contaminated media
  • Optimum pH(~2-7.4) for certain media must be maintained for good embryo culture
  • Alterations in the pH of the media can be visualized easily if the media is supplemented with pH indicators such as phenol red, where the alkaline media looks brick red and acidic media looks pale yellow
  • pH can be checked using a pH meter

Osmolarity:

  • The osmolarity of the media (~260-280 mOsm/L) is dependent on the temperature and pressure
  • Maintaining optimum temperature during, media storage, media aliquoting, dish preparation (22⁰C) and gamete and embryo handling (37⁰C) directly influence the osmolarity of the media
  • The osmolarity changes in the media can be visualized by the alterations seen in the gamers or embryos that are the gametes shrinks when the media is hypertonic and on the other hand swelling of the games seen in case of hypotonicity of the media

Quality Control concerning temperature,pH and osmolarity of the media used in IVF lab can be studied:

If there is any compromise in the routine IVF results then, troubleshooting can be started with primary concerning factors which influence on the culture condition such as temperature, carbon dioxide level, pH and osmolarity

the accurate stage-specific troubleshooting following assessments can be done to optimize the variations in the IVF results

  • Fertilisation rates
  • Embryo Quality
  • Pregnancy rates
  • Multiple pregnancy rates
  • Implantation rates
  • The survival rate for frozen embryos
  • Sperm survival test

At Indira IVF and fertility center, our fertility experts are keen to help and resolve all your queries related to infertility or IVF. You can book your appointment for a free consultation now.

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