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  Vertebrate Reproductive Science & Technology
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RFD is the official journal of the International Embryo Transfer Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology.


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 20(1)

Dissection of culture media for embryos: the most important and less important components and characteristics

David K. Gardner

A Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
B Email: david.gardner@unimelb.edu.au
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Improvements in culture media formulations have led to an increase in the ability to maintain the mammalian embryo in culture throughout the preimplantation and pre-attachment period. Amino acids and specific macromolecules have been identified as being key medium components, whereas temporal dynamics have been recognised as important media characteristics. Furthermore, other laboratory factors that directly impact embryo development and viability have been identified. Such factors include the use of a reduced oxygen tension, an appropriate incubation system and an adequate prescreening of all contact supplies. With rigourous quality systems in place, it is possible to obtain in vivo rates of embryo development in vitro using new media formulations while maintaining high levels of embryo viability. The future of embryo culture will likely be based on novel culture chips capable of providing temporal dynamics while facilitating real-time analysis of embryo physiology.

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