IVF embryos are incubated up to 5 days in the lab to help them grow. Each embryo is observed daily under a microscope and graded by an embryologist to identify the most viable embryos. The problem is that by opening the incubator to remove an embryo for grading, the stable environment within the incubator is compromised, potentially jeopardizing their chances of survival. Extensive user research led the designers to identify that ideally the incubator needed to have individual chambers dedicated to each patient, to avoid putting existing embryos at risk as new ones are loaded. Precise control of temperature, humidity and CO2 levels within each chamber provides the ideal condition for embryos development.
Traditionally, embryos are removed from the incubator chamber for review under microscope during grading. To avoid the need to disturb the embryo Geri requires an imaging solution integrated within the incubator itself, eliminating the need to remove the embryo from its safe environment for grading.The market trend to use bigger, more expensive microscopes made it impossible to fit within an individual chamber whilst maintaining a compact, affordable instrument.User research and technology exploration led the designers to discover they could achieve the required image quality using low cost CMOS cameras. Combined with a compact, highly accurate optics module a cost effective solution was born.
Capturing the moment an embryo divides, and how often it re-divides over time provides clinicians with the best information to select which embryos are best for implantation into the mother.Geri's patented technology includes individual microscope and camera in each of its six chambers. This means development of each embryo photographed more often, providing clinicians with sophisticated time-lapse record of growth.The imaging system also records each time-slice at up to 11 planes through the embryo, giving clinician's far greater level of detail, opening up exciting new possibilities in assisted reproduction. Instruments are already in clinical use, with confirmed pregnancies.
Geri makes IVF technology accessible to more couples. Embryos of up to six patients can be incubated simultaneously, with up to 16 embryos per patientThe imaging technology couples high grade optics with off-shelf camera systems normally used in mobile phones and other high volume products, keeping manufacturing costs low without compromising image quality. The modular design and standardized components of the individual incubation chambers is also aimed at improving manufacturing efficiency and minimizing production costs.Translating to a significantly lower price in the market compared to competitors, the Geri incubator is more accessible to both a large and small IVF clinics.
Geri's large central touch screen provides both an overview status across all embryos under culture, along with crystal clear imaging of individual embryos. History and time-lapse video can be quickly accessed and reviewed via the on-screen menu system.Working closely with experienced embryologists, the designers evolved the user interface to optimize workflow. Large, clear iconography, intuitive menu layout and considered placement of functional elements create an easy to use interface design. Extensive UI prototyping with users helped to refine the final design.Each chamber has its own individual display to monitor conditions within the incubator, and alert the user of any parameters outside normal range.
Designed to fit within the wider Genea products family, Geri features design language and branding elements common with other product in the range.Use of accent colors to indicate key functional areas on the instrument not only add interest, but share a familiar theme.The designers carefully considered graphic element, iconography and menu structures in the interfaces to ensure they remain consistent with other Genea IVF lab instruments, giving users a seamless experience across the range.Part of a larger product ecosystem, networked peripherals include servers for storing all the time-lapses images and video, and clinical software that allows embryologist to remotely access and grade the embryos.
At the heart of each incubator is the micro-molded embryo tray that can hold up to 16 embryos at a time. Manufactured under controlled sterile conditions, the trays have molded details as small as 500 micron. A bespoke manufacturing facility has been setup in Melbourne to produce the instruments under the strictest of quality controls. Here best practice manufacturing principles have been employed to ensure the instruments are assembled with efficient use of labor. Serviceability of the instruments also features heavily in the design. From the modular aspect of critical sub-assemblies, to standardization of fasteners where possible, the instrument is designed for easy servicing and end-of-life recycling.