The "embryoslide" is a culture plate for embryos and has the peculiarity that it has several wells for the culture of embryos separately and that it also fits in the timelapse incubators. Each type of timelapse incubator has its own specific plate.
The timelapse incubator is a culture incubator, with the usual conditions for in vitro embryo culture, i.e. at 37ºC with an atmosphere of 5% carbon dioxide (CO2) and 5% oxygen, mimicking the physiological conditions found in the mother's womb. This incubator is also characterised by a built-in image recording system that captures images in time lapses and generates a video of the development of each embryo throughout the days of culture.
The most important thing is that the plate does not have to be removed from the incubator to take these images, so the embryos are always in optimum culture conditions, so we can say that we do not disturb them to observe them.
The incubator has a single chamber and the plates (with the embryos, usually one per patient) rotate so that each well (with one embryo) passes successively through the field of the chamber. The "embryoslide" plate has a specific shape that fits perfectly with the rotation system to show it to the camera. In addition, the incubator has a software that apart from controlling the movement of the plates to pass through the chamber, the culture conditions, it also has a system for analysing the images of each case that is in culture, embryo by embryo. The biologists can analyse the kinetics and morphology of the embryos, through the software, and decide the final destination of each embryo, whether it is transfer, freezing or discarding due to incorrect evolution.
To transfer, freeze or finish the culture, the software is told that the plate is to be removed, either punctually or to finish the culture. Likewise, when a plate is introduced for the first time, the programme asks for the case data: medical history number, name and surname, date of birth, etc. and the number of the wells where the embryos have been placed, in order to be able to take the images. At the end of the culture, we can generate a sequence of images (video) of each embryo.