IVC Culture System
The IVC culture system allows the in-vitro maintenance of blastocysts beyond the implantation stage.
IVC media is enabling a transformation in our understanding of the development of the mammalian embryo. Until now, human embryogenesis in-vitro could only be studied up until day seven, at which point the embryo may be transferred to the uterus in the hopes of a successful pregnancy. Consequently, from day seven onwards, the morphological and cellular events that take place have not been characterised.
Understanding of the peri-implantation period in humans relies on the use of embryos grown in culture conditions that attempt to mimic the uterine environment. Ground-breaking studies of murine (1) and human (2) development from the labs of Professor Zernicka-Goetz at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Brivanlou at The Rockefeller University, New York, using IVC have already led to profound changes in our understanding of developmental events that take place in the critical period following fertilisation. For human cells, this has allowed in-vitro culture up to 13 days resulting in profound insights that are expected to lead to improvements in IVF fertilisation, pregnancy and delivery rates.
In the human studies (2), the researchers identified a previously uncharacterised cluster of cells which, at one stage, account for 5–10 percent of the whole embryo. These cells display features that may be unique to human development.
IVC media was developed at the University of Cambridge and has been exclusively licensed by Cell Guidance Systems.
|Human blastocyst culture|
|Mouse blastocyst culture|
|Schematic of post-fertilization events in mouse.|
1. Self-Organizing Properties of Mouse Pluripotent Cells Initiate Morphogenesis upon Implantation.
Ivan Bedzhov, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz (2014) Cell 156:1032
2. Self-organization of the in vitro attached human embryo. Alessia Deglincerti, Gist F. Croft, Lauren N. Pietila, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Eric D. Siggia & Ali H. Brivanlou (2016) Nature 533:251