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Setting up an ART laboratory

 Date:2015-05-25 17:14:47

Setting up an ART laboratory

The primary function of an ART laboratory is to provide an optimal environment for gametes and embryos. 


To set up an ART laboratory, that is efficient and safe, the three key areas to focus on would be the place or location of the laboratory, the embryologists, and the protocols or procedures.


The layout of the laboratory must be sensibly planned and logically designed to allow smooth running of routine procedures.

The main laboratory consists of designated areas for oocyte and embryo culture and for ART sperm preparation. Adjacent to the main culture area is the procedure room / theatre. The two areas are connected through an access window through which follicular aspirates are passed into the laboratory.

Each workstation should be self contained with a laminar flow hood, incubator, and microscope to prevent unnecessary movement of staff in the laboratory during procedures.

There should also be allocation of separate space for micromanipulation procedures, cryopreservation, data or record keeping and storage area for storage of consumables.

IVF Instruments


CO2/Tri-gas incubator

Incubators are the most crucial equipment in the ART laboratory. The incubators are used for pre-equilibration of culture medium, sperm incubation, oocyte and embryo culture


Pre-equilibration of medium        Sperm Incubation                         Oocyte Culture                            Embryo Culture

The incubators are maintained at 37℃. Embryo culture media are buffered by bicarbonate and therefore in order to maintain correct pH of the culture medium, the commonly used gas phases are 5% or 6% CO2 in air or triple gas that consists of 6% CO2, 5% O2 and 89% N2. Low oxygen tension has proven to be the preferred choice.

There should be enough incubators in the laboratory and incubators with 4-6 compartments are preferred. Frequent closing and opening incubator doors should be avoided as this leads to fluctuation of temperature, pH and osmolarity.

Water purification system

The water purification system is a source of ultrapure water which is essential in an ART laboratory and for media preparation. Ultrapure water is most crucial in preparation of glassware (particularly glass pasteur pipettes) that are used for handling gametes and embryos. The glass pipettes are soaked in ultrapure water before they are washed, packed, and sterilized. These systems are very expensive and require regular maintenance and regular replacement of varous filters.

 Laboratory centrifuge

Centrifuge is required to prepare sperm for IVF insemination or intracytoplasmic spermatozoa injection (ICSI). Centiruge needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained

Heal Force is the first centrifuge manufacturer in China who pass explosion-proof test.

Other instruments

Laminar flow hoods with heated stage, microscopes, micromanipulation system, Medical refrigerator, Sterilization oven, Test tube warmer, Suction pumps, Freezing machine, Liquid nitrogen tanks

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