For many people, an IVF lab is a mysterious place where science and magic meets and babies are formed. ACRM is one of the few fertility centres in Singapore where the IVF lab is located within the premises of the clinic, allowing for a seamless, one-stop IVF journey for our parents-to-be. Today, we pull back the curtains and give you a short tour of our IVF lab. To see a video tour of our IVF lab, see below:
The operating room
The operating room is where the egg retrieval, and eventual embryo transfer takes place. This is the start and end of your IVF cycle. At ACRM, the operating room is connected to the IVF lab, so that there is minimal transport of your eggs to the lab. This setup reduces the chances that the eggs, or embryos, get damaged or contaminated during transport.
Air shower room. This special room uses pressurised air to blow off any dirt on the body and clothes. It is necessary for all the IVF lab technicians and embryologists to go through this room before entering the IVF lab. The room ensures the cleanliness and sterility of the lab, and ACRM is one of the few IVF centres that employ the use of such a room.
IVF hood. For simple IVF procedures, this is where the main action happens. The microscope here is used to observe the retrieved egg and the sperm. The hood is also where they are mixed together and observed to see whether fertilisation occurs. The box-like apparatus beside the IVF hood is actually a secure pass, which is connected to the operating room. This is how the retrieved eggs are passed into the IVF lab.
A close-up of the ICSI machine. ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is a procedure where the sperm is injected directly into the egg for fertilisation. This is usually performed in cases where the sperm motility or morphology is deemed unsuitable for normal IVF fertilisation.
Time-lapse monitoring machine. When the embryo is formed, it is placed into this machine, which takes regular images of the embryo while it is incubating within the machine. This allows the fertility specialist and embryologist to observe the development of the embryos and select the one most suitable-looking for embryo transfer.