Making babies at CARE
So much incredible work is done in our labs, although it’s not often that everyone gets to see all the different processes involved in making babies at CARE! That’s why we’re really excited to be able to share this short series showing what Phoebe, one of our CARE London embryologists, has been getting up to in the lab.
Here, Phoebe is assessing a day 5 hatching blastocyst before embryo transfer. At a magnification of 400, she can closely assess the quality of both the inner cell mass (the tight group of cells that eventually form the baby) and the trophectoderm cells (the surrounding cells that eventually form the placenta).
Each day our embryologists need to prepare consumables and media for:
- Egg collection
- Fertilisation checks
- Embryo culture
- Embryo transfer
- Embryo freezing
- Embryo thawing/warming
Dishes need to be carefully prepared to ensure the gametes and embryos are in great shape before transfer!
Here, Phoebe is preparing a semen sample for insemination. A semen sample is placed onto a density gradient which allows separation of poor quality and good quality sperm when using a centrifuge. This method allows a sufficient number of motile and structurally normal sperm ready for insemination!
Embryo freezing is commonplace in embryology labs! Good quality embryos, other than those used for embryo transfer, can be frozen for patients’ future use. Embryos are ‘vitrified’ – rapidly frozen by the use of specialised cryopreservation media and liquid nitrogen at -196°c. Here you can see Phoebe thawing a little snowbaby!
We hope you enjoyed a little peek into our CARE labs – check out our Instagram page for more!