embryo culture techniques


Summary: The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS

Top Publications

  1. Wu G, Jia B, Li J, Fu X, Zhou G, Hou Y, et al. L-carnitine enhances oocyte maturation and development of parthenogenetic embryos in pigs. Theriogenology. 2011;76:785-93 pubmed publisher
  2. Seli E, Vergouw C, Morita H, Botros L, Roos P, Lambalk C, et al. Noninvasive metabolomic profiling as an adjunct to morphology for noninvasive embryo assessment in women undergoing single embryo transfer. Fertil Steril. 2010;94:535-42 pubmed publisher
    ..3. Metabolomic profiling of human embryo culture media using near infrared spectroscopy is independent of morphology and correlates with reproductive potential of embryos. ..
  3. Ogawa B, Ueno S, Nakayama N, Matsunari H, Nakano K, Fujiwara T, et al. Developmental ability of porcine in vitro matured oocytes at the meiosis II stage after vitrification. J Reprod Dev. 2010;56:356-61 pubmed
  4. Pribenszky C, Losonczi E, Molnar M, Lang Z, Matyas S, Rajczy K, et al. Prediction of in-vitro developmental competence of early cleavage-stage mouse embryos with compact time-lapse equipment. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;20:371-9 pubmed publisher
  5. Morbeck D, Khan Z, Barnidge D, Walker D. Washing mineral oil reduces contaminants and embryotoxicity. Fertil Steril. 2010;94:2747-52 pubmed publisher
    ..To determine if washing improves the quality of mineral oil used for embryo culture...
  6. Ciray H, Aksoy T, Goktas C, Ozturk B, Bahceci M. Time-lapse evaluation of human embryo development in single versus sequential culture media--a sibling oocyte study. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2012;29:891-900 pubmed publisher
    ..Morphokinetics of embryo development vary between single and sequential culture media at least until the 5-cell stage. The overall clinical and embryological parameters remain similar regardless of the culture system. ..
  7. Morbeck D. Importance of supply integrity for in vitro fertilization and embryo culture. Semin Reprod Med. 2012;30:182-90 pubmed publisher
    ..This review describes current bioassay quality control testing and discusses how it applies to screening of products with documented lot-to-lot variation. ..
  8. Azzarello A, Hoest T, Mikkelsen A. The impact of pronuclei morphology and dynamicity on live birth outcome after time-lapse culture. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:2649-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Although the assessment of the PN morphology does not improve embryo selection, the timing of PNB should be included in embryo selection parameters. ..
  9. Baltz J. Media composition: salts and osmolality. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;912:61-80 pubmed publisher
    ..However, when organic osmolytes such as some amino acids are present, embryos will develop in culture at higher osmolarities that are similar to those they experience in tubal fluid in vivo...

More Information


  1. Ozawa M, Sakatani M, Hankowski K, Terada N, Dobbs K, Hansen P. Importance of culture conditions during the morula-to-blastocyst period on capacity of inner cell-mass cells of bovine blastocysts for establishment of self-renewing pluripotent cells. Theriogenology. 2012;78:1243-51.e1-2 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, exposure to inhibitors during the morula-blastocyst transition facilitated formation of self-renewing pluripotent cell lines from bovine blastocysts...
  2. Ozawa M, Sakatani M, Yao J, Shanker S, Yu F, Yamashita R, et al. Global gene expression of the inner cell mass and trophectoderm of the bovine blastocyst. BMC Dev Biol. 2012;12:33 pubmed publisher
  3. Dar S, Librach C, Gunby J, Bissonnette F, Cowan L. Increased risk of preterm birth in singleton pregnancies after blastocyst versus Day 3 embryo transfer: Canadian ART Register (CARTR) analysis. Hum Reprod. 2013;28:924-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Are the fetal outcomes of singleton pregnancies that result from cleavage stage embryo transfer (ET) different from the outcomes from Day 5/6 blastocyst stage ET?..
  4. Carrasco B, Boada M, Rodriguez I, Coroleu B, Barri P, Veiga A. Does culture medium influence offspring birth weight?. Fertil Steril. 2013;100:1283-8 pubmed publisher
    ..To determine whether the type of medium used to culture human embryos in vitro influences neonatal birth weight after IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)...
  5. Mao J, Whitworth K, Spate L, Walters E, Zhao J, Prather R. Regulation of oocyte mitochondrial DNA copy number by follicular fluid, EGF, and neuregulin 1 during in vitro maturation affects embryo development in pigs. Theriogenology. 2012;78:887-97 pubmed publisher
    ..Oocyte mtDNA copy number was associated with developmental competence. Supplementation of maturation medium with NRG1 increased mtDNA copy number, and thus provides a means to improve oocyte quality and developmental competence in pigs...
  6. Nelissen E, Van Montfoort A, Coonen E, Derhaag J, Geraedts J, Smits L, et al. Further evidence that culture media affect perinatal outcome: findings after transfer of fresh and cryopreserved embryos. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:1966-76 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, embryo culture media and their effects need to be investigated thoroughly to select the best embryo culture medium in order to minimize or prevent short-term risks and maybe even long-term disease susceptibility. ..
  7. Kalra S, Ratcliffe S, Barnhart K, Coutifaris C. Extended embryo culture and an increased risk of preterm delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;120:69-75 pubmed publisher
    ..Unless blastocyst transfer results in a reduction in multiple births, it may be contributing to the perinatal morbidity associated with IVF-assisted conception. ..
  8. Lin S, Li M, Lian Y, Chen L, Liu P. No effect of embryo culture media on birthweight and length of newborns. Hum Reprod. 2013;28:1762-7 pubmed publisher
  9. Liu Y, Balaraman Y, Wang G, Nephew K, Zhou F. Alcohol exposure alters DNA methylation profiles in mouse embryos at early neurulation. Epigenetics. 2009;4:500-11 pubmed
  10. Hoelker M, Rings F, Lund Q, Phatsara C, Schellander K, Tesfaye D. Effect of embryo density on in vitro developmental characteristics of bovine preimplantative embryos with respect to micro and macroenvironments. Reprod Domest Anim. 2010;45:e138-45 pubmed publisher
  11. Pontes J, Melo Sterza F, Basso A, Ferreira C, Sanches B, Rubin K, et al. Ovum pick up, in vitro embryo production, and pregnancy rates from a large-scale commercial program using Nelore cattle (Bos indicus) donors. Theriogenology. 2011;75:1640-6 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, we confirmed field reports of high oocyte production by some Nelore donors and demonstrated individual variation in oocyte yield, which was associated with embryo production and pregnancy rates. ..
  12. Nichols J, Silva J, Roode M, Smith A. Suppression of Erk signalling promotes ground state pluripotency in the mouse embryo. Development. 2009;136:3215-22 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that ES cells are not a tissue culture creation, but are essentially identical to pre-implantation epiblast cells. ..
  13. Reed M, Hamic A, Thompson D, Caperton C. Continuous uninterrupted single medium culture without medium renewal versus sequential media culture: a sibling embryo study. Fertil Steril. 2009;92:1783-6 pubmed publisher
  14. Nguyen N, Lo N, Chuang S, Jian Y, Ju J. Sonic hedgehog supplementation of oocyte and embryo culture media enhances development of IVF porcine embryos. Reproduction. 2011;142:87-97 pubmed publisher
  15. Ozawa M, Hansen P. A novel method for purification of inner cell mass and trophectoderm cells from blastocysts using magnetic activated cell sorting. Fertil Steril. 2011;95:799-802 pubmed publisher
    ..To develop a simple method to purify blastomeres of inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) lineage using magnetic activated cell sorting...
  16. Choe C, Shin Y, Kim E, Cho S, Kim H, Choi S, et al. Synergistic effects of glutathione and ?-mercaptoethanol treatment during in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes on early embryonic development in a culture system supplemented with L-cysteine. J Reprod Dev. 2010;56:575-82 pubmed
    ..05). These results suggest that a combination of 1 mM GSH or 25 µM ?-ME with 1 mM L-cysteine could be used for production of high quality porcine blastocysts in IVC systems...
  17. O Leary T, Heindryckx B, Lierman S, Van der Jeught M, Menten B, Deforce D, et al. The influence of early embryo traits on human embryonic stem cell derivation efficiency. Stem Cells Dev. 2011;20:785-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Experiments aiming to quantify, improve upon, or compare hESC derivation efficiency should thus take into consideration early embryo morphology scoring for the comparison of groups with equal developmental competence. ..
  18. Zhang L, Luo Y, Bou G, Kong Q, Huan Y, Zhu J, et al. Overexpression Nanog activates pluripotent genes in porcine fetal fibroblasts and nuclear transfer embryos. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2011;294:1809-17 pubmed publisher
    ..05). Our results demonstrate that Nanog could interact with and activate other pluripotent genes both in PFFs and embryos. ..
  19. Loureiro B, Oliveira L, Favoreto M, Hansen P. Colony-stimulating factor 2 inhibits induction of apoptosis in the bovine preimplantation embryo. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2011;65:578-88 pubmed publisher
    ..CSF2 blocks apoptosis in bovine embryos through actions associated with regulation of genes controlling apoptosis. ..
  20. Geens M, Mateizel I, Sermon K, De Rycke M, Spits C, Cauffman G, et al. Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres of two 4-cell stage embryos. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:2709-17 pubmed publisher
    ..To further investigate potency at the 4-cell stage, we aimed to derive pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESC) from single blastomeres...
  21. Migeotte I, Omelchenko T, Hall A, Anderson K. Rac1-dependent collective cell migration is required for specification of the anterior-posterior body axis of the mouse. PLoS Biol. 2010;8:e1000442 pubmed publisher
    ..The data show that Rac1-mediated epithelial migration of the AVE is a crucial step in the establishment of the mammalian body plan and suggest that Rac1 is essential for collective migration in mammalian tissues...
  22. Cordova B, Morato R, Izquierdo D, Paramio T, Mogas T. Effect of the addition of insulin-transferrin-selenium and/or L-ascorbic acid to the in vitro maturation of prepubertal bovine oocytes on cytoplasmic maturation and embryo development. Theriogenology. 2010;74:1341-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data suggest that ITS plus L-ascorbic acid supplementation during the first 12 h of in vitro maturation improves cytoplasm maturation and the developmental competence of embryos produced from prepubertal calf oocytes. ..
  23. Pribenszky C, Matyas S, Kovacs P, Losonczi E, Zadori J, Vajta G. Pregnancy achieved by transfer of a single blastocyst selected by time-lapse monitoring. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;21:533-6 pubmed publisher
    ..The analysis of time-lapse records was used to choose a single blastocyst for transfer, which resulted in a singleton pregnancy and birth of a healthy boy on term. ..
  24. Kirkegaard K, Agerholm I, Ingerslev H. Time-lapse monitoring as a tool for clinical embryo assessment. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:1277-85 pubmed publisher
    ..This mini-review summarizes the current knowledge about dynamic markers of viability and discusses the potential clinical role of time-lapse analysis in embryo assessment and selection. ..
  25. Merton J, Ask B, Onkundi D, Mullaart E, Colenbrander B, Nielen M. Genetic parameters for oocyte number and embryo production within a bovine ovum pick-up-in vitro production embryo-production program. Theriogenology. 2009;72:885-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Introduction of such traits in breeding programs would enhance the number of offspring from superior donors as well as improve the cost efficiency of OPU-IVP programs. ..
  26. Fernando D, Halliday J, Breheny S, Healy D. Outcomes of singleton births after blastocyst versus nonblastocyst transfer in assisted reproductive technology. Fertil Steril. 2012;97:579-84 pubmed publisher
    ..72, 99% confidence interval 0.93-3.20) and placenta previa (1.65, 0.92-2.98). Obstetric and perinatal outcomes after blastocyst transfer on days 5 to 6 are similar when compared with embryo cleavage-stage transfers on days 2 to 4. ..
  27. Eaton J, Lieberman E, Stearns C, Chinchilla M, Racowsky C. Embryo culture media and neonatal birthweight following IVF. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:375-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Although our careful selection of patients minimized the influence of potential confounders, further research is required to elucidate this issue with larger numbers of patients. ..
  28. Wale P, Gardner D. Time-lapse analysis of mouse embryo development in oxygen gradients. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;21:402-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Partial or complete culture in atmospheric oxygen resulted in significantly fewer blastocyst cell numbers compared with control (P<0.05). Oxygen can influence mouse embryo development at both the cleavage and post-compaction stages. ..
  29. Sananmuang T, Tharasanit T, Nguyen C, Phutikanit N, Techakumphu M. Culture medium and embryo density influence on developmental competence and gene expression of cat embryos. Theriogenology. 2011;75:1708-19 pubmed publisher
    ..0 mM glucose may have prevented an increase in the incidence of apoptosis. In the present study, it was clearly demonstrated that differential gene expression occurred in embryos with similar morphology. ..
  30. Lee K, Kim E, Jeon K, Cho S, Han Y, Yang B, et al. 3,4-Dihydroxyflavone acts as an antioxidant and antiapoptotic agent to support bovine embryo development in vitro. J Reprod Dev. 2011;57:127-34 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that 3,4-DHF may promote the in vitro development of bovine embryos through its antioxidant and antiapoptotic effects. ..
  31. Ye X, Chen S, Wang L, Zhao Y, Lv X, Liu M, et al. Caffeine and dithiothreitol delay ovine oocyte ageing. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2010;22:1254-61 pubmed publisher
    ..05). The glutathione content of DTT-treated aged oocytes was higher than that of oocytes matured for 36 h (P < 0.05). In conclusion, caffeine and dithiothreitol delay oocyte ageing but only to a limited extent...
  32. Sugimura S, Akai T, Somfai T, Hirayama M, Aikawa Y, Ohtake M, et al. Time-lapse cinematography-compatible polystyrene-based microwell culture system: a novel tool for tracking the development of individual bovine embryos. Biol Reprod. 2010;83:970-8 pubmed publisher
    ..3%). These results suggest that our microwell culture system is a powerful tool for producing and selecting healthy embryos and for identifying viability biomarkers. ..
  33. Senatore E, Xu J, Suárez Novoa M, Gong G, Lin T, Bella A, et al. Improved in vitro development of OPU-derived bovine (Bos taurus) embryos by group culture with agarose-embedded helper embryos. Theriogenology. 2010;74:1643-51 pubmed publisher
    ..1%, higher than that in the 3 + 0 group (11.8%, P < 0.05). In conclusion, limited numbers of OPU/IVF oocytes had competent development when cultured with helpers (embedded in agarose to provide physical separation). ..
  34. Paternot G, Debrock S, D Hooghe T, Spiessens C. Early embryo development in a sequential versus single medium: a randomized study. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2010;8:83 pubmed publisher
    ..The results of this study have a possible positive effect on the cumulative cryo-augmented pregnancy rate. NCT01094314. ..
  35. Swain J. Optimizing the culture environment in the IVF laboratory: impact of pH and buffer capacity on gamete and embryo quality. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;21:6-16 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, importance of both pH(i) and pH(e) in respect to gamete and embryo quality are discussed. Furthermore, factors influencing selection of pH(e), as well as emerging methods to stabilize pH(e) in the IVF laboratory are detailed. ..
  36. Cao Y, Xing Q, Zhang Z, Wei Z, Zhou P, Cong L. Cryopreservation of immature and in-vitro matured human oocytes by vitrification. Reprod Biomed Online. 2009;19:369-73 pubmed
    ..However, these results were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those achieved in the control group. This suggests that better results can be achieved by vitrifying mature oocytes rather than immature oocytes. ..
  37. Takada L, Junior A, Mingoti G, Balieiro J, Cipolla Neto J, Coelho L. Effect of melatonin on DNA damage of bovine cumulus cells during in vitro maturation (IVM) and on in vitro embryo development. Res Vet Sci. 2012;92:124-7 pubmed publisher
    ..0±2.4) and FSH-LH (17.8±2.41) groups. Cleavage and blastocysts rates were similar among groups. Melatonin during IVM protects the CCs from DNA damage but this effect did not influence embryo development in vitro. ..
  38. Mondou E, Dufort I, Gohin M, Fournier E, Sirard M. Analysis of microRNAs and their precursors in bovine early embryonic development. Mol Hum Reprod. 2012;18:425-34 pubmed publisher
    ..This study suggests that miRNAs could be important players in the MET, as expression profiles suggest a potential regulation role during early development steps...
  39. Ning S, Li Q, Liang M, Yang X, Xu H, Lu Y, et al. Methylation characteristics and developmental potential of Guangxi Bama minipig (Sus scrofa domestica) cloned embryos from donor cells treated with trichostatin A and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Zygote. 2013;21:178-86 pubmed publisher
    ..05). Thus in combination with TSA, lower concentrations of 5-aza-dC may produce a potent demethylating activity, and lead to the significantly enhanced blastocyst development percentage of Bama minipig SCNT embryos. ..
  40. Campbell J, Mitchell M, Nottle M, Lane M. Development of a mouse model for studying the effect of embryo culture on embryonic stem cell derivation. Stem Cells Dev. 2011;20:1577-86 pubmed publisher
    ..However, none were improved to the level seen for culture in G1/G2. These results highlight the influence of embryo culture on embryo quality and pluripotency, which is a key factor in determining ESC isolation efficiencies. ..
  41. Zhang J, Li X, Peng Y, Guo X, Heng B, Tong G. Reduction in exposure of human embryos outside the incubator enhances embryo quality and blastulation rate. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;20:510-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Hence, reduction of the observation frequency of embryos outside the incubator can enhance embryo quality and blastocyst formation rate. ..
  42. Matsuura K, Hayashi N, Kuroda Y, Takiue C, Hirata R, Takenami M, et al. Improved development of mouse and human embryos using a tilting embryo culture system. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;20:358-64 pubmed publisher
    ..05). The TECS is proposed as a promising approach to improve embryo development and blastocyst formation by exposing embryos to mechanical stimuli similar to those in the Fallopian tube. ..
  43. Son S, Garrell R. Transport of live yeast and zebrafish embryo on a droplet digital microfluidic platform. Lab Chip. 2009;9:2398-401 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate the potential for using a droplet microfluidic device as an alternative to microwell plates for yeast and zebrafish assays. ..
  44. Hu J, Cheng D, Gao X, Bao J, Ma X, Wang H. Vitamin C enhances the in vitro development of porcine pre-implantation embryos by reducing oxidative stress. Reprod Domest Anim. 2012;47:873-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Vc addition in PZM-3 medium can decrease the number of apoptotic cells and increase the cell numbers in blastocysts to produce high-quality porcine embryos in vitro...
  45. Merton J, de Roos A, Koenen E, Roelen B, Vos P, Mullaart E, et al. Bovine OPU-derived oocytes can be matured in vitro for 16-28 h with similar developmental capacity. Reprod Domest Anim. 2012;47:1037-42 pubmed publisher
  46. Roode M, Blair K, Snell P, Elder K, Marchant S, Smith A, et al. Human hypoblast formation is not dependent on FGF signalling. Dev Biol. 2012;361:358-63 pubmed publisher
  47. Dutta R, Malakar D, Khate K, Sahu S, Akshey Y, Mukesh M. A comparative study on efficiency of adult fibroblast, putative embryonic stem cell and lymphocyte as donor cells for production of handmade cloned embryos in goat and characterization of putative ntES cells obtained from these embryos. Theriogenology. 2011;76:851-63 pubmed publisher
    ..The study has established an efficient protocol for putative ntES cell derivation from HMC embryos. It could be of substantial significance as patient specific ntES cells have proven therapeutic significance. ..
  48. Yoshioka K. Development and application of a chemically defined medium for the in vitro production of porcine embryos. J Reprod Dev. 2011;57:9-16 pubmed
    ..This paper discusses the developmental ability and normality of porcine IVP embryos, and limitations and advancements in this system. ..
  49. Campbell J, Nottle M, Vassiliev I, Mitchell M, Lane M. Insulin increases epiblast cell number of in vitro cultured mouse embryos via the PI3K/GSK3/p53 pathway. Stem Cells Dev. 2012;21:2430-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, we suggest that the inclusion of insulin in culture media could be used as a strategy for increasing the efficiency with which the ESC lines can be derived from cultured embryos...
  50. Swain J. A self-contained culture platform using carbon dioxide produced from a chemical reaction supports mouse blastocyst development in vitro. J Reprod Dev. 2011;57:551-5 pubmed
    ..This approach provides a highly purified, inexpensive, and easily obtainable gas source and offers potential for development of new, self-contained culture platforms. ..
  51. Dumoulin J, Land J, Van Montfoort A, Nelissen E, Coonen E, Derhaag J, et al. Effect of in vitro culture of human embryos on birthweight of newborns. Hum Reprod. 2010;25:605-12 pubmed publisher
    ..01) associated with birthweight. In vitro culture of human embryos can affect birthweight of live born singletons. ..
  52. Zhou P, Wu Y, Wei D, Li Q, Wang G, Zhang J, et al. Mouse cumulus-denuded oocytes restore developmental capacity completely when matured with optimal supplementation of cysteamine, cystine, and cumulus cells. Biol Reprod. 2010;82:759-68 pubmed publisher
  53. Nguyen N, Lin D, Yen S, Tseng J, Chuang J, Chen B, et al. Sonic hedgehog promotes porcine oocyte maturation and early embryo development. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2009;21:805-15 pubmed publisher