A new device called the Embryoscope brings some key changes to the IVF process that could make it dramatically more reliable. Developed by researchers in England who were part of the very first IVF procedure team, the Embryoscope provides (almost) real-time, round-the-clock monitoring of the fertilization process on a cellular level. In the past, embryos had to be removed from their incubators once a day in order for technicians to collect data and make sure things were running smoothly. Of course, this exposed the samples to changes in temperature and airborne contaminants.
The Embryoscope solves this problem by integrating a small camera into the incubator itself, which takes photos every 10-15 minutes to create a time-lapse video of each potential embryo. This way, doctors can stay looped in on the status of the samples without risking the embryos' viability. And, scientists say the device helps pinpoint which samples have the best chances of succeeding.
An extra benefit is that the Embryoscope provides a pretty amazing view of just what goes down before, during, and after the moment when sperm meets egg. Watch below for some nifty footage. It's just, you know, where we all came from and stuff. (CNN)