Time-lapse technology: evaluation of embryo quality and new markers for embryo selection

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Current methods of embryo evaluation rely mainly on static observations of the embryo´s morphology. These observations are inevitably restricted to specific times and, considering that the development of the embryo is a dynamic process, several critical stages in between observations may go unnoticed. These methods are also very subjective, and variations between embryologists may affect critical decisions that will, in turn, affect the overall success of the IVF clinics. On the other hand, an increased number of multiple pregnancies calls for a reduction in the number of embryos transferred, making the selection procedure even more challenging for the embryologist. Therefore, new markers that may aid the selection of embryos with higher implantation probabilities are needed. This review details what is known about time-lapse imaging, its application in embryology and the possible use of this technology as a novel selection tool.

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