Our Highly Advanced Lab

When you’re handling the most basic components of a new life, the environment is critically important. Embryos are highly sensitive to temperature changes, contaminants and more. That’s why we’ve created a pristine environment that mimics the natural uterine environment as closely as possible.

The Center’s highly advanced IVF laboratory was custom designed by our team of fertility experts and engineered by Alpha Environmental, Inc., a leader in environmental engineering for research and clinical labs. The project was expertly led by Alpha CEO and founder Antonia Gilligan, a world-renowned IVF lab expert with vast experience as a biologist, chemist, engineering manager and lab director.

Combined, all of the innovative design, engineering and environmental solutions featured in the new location assist the Center in achieving better embryo development, improved embryo implantation rates, and higher pregnancy rates by minimizing or eliminating the negative impact of toxic environmental factors along with an increased ability to maintain quality controls. Based on research conducted by Alpha, Antonia Gilligan stated, “The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services is a world class assisted reproductive practice for a variety of reasons. In our 25 years of testing IVF lab air quality we were surprised and pleased to see the results at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services. It quite simply has the highest air quality of any IVF lab in the world.”

It’s what’s not in the air that matters.
Two decades of research and testing prove that fluctuations in IVF success can be attributed to events occurring outside the laboratory: road resurfacing, car exhaust, construction, insecticides, even cleaning products that slip through traditional air purification. Our Farmington center features an innovative air purification and irradiation technology called the LifeAire System to remediate all levels of airborne contaminants, inactivate biologicals and eliminate embryotoxic VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).  LifeAire Systems’ patented, in-duct air purification system delivers unparalleled performance proven radically different from every other system on the market, demonstrating a direct correlation between the removal and control of airborne pathogens and clinical outcomes. According to a published study, programs using the LifeAire system showed a 14.9% improvement in ongoing pregnancy rate inclusive of all maternal ages post-installation of the system. The Center has seen a clear positive impact on embryo development and clinical pregnancy rates since implementing the LifeAire system into its new Farmington facility in 2015.

uconnfertilitylab3

State of the art equipment
Our laboratory is equipped with specialized, state-of-the-art microscopes, incubators and other equipment purposely built for the IVF industry. This includes advanced individual “mini-incubators” that maintain optimal temperature and gas exchange as well as micromanipulation tools that are fitted to our microscopes and enable us to perform delicate procedures on patients’ eggs and embryos.

Our MINCTM and MIRITM IVF incubators are the most important piece of equipment in the laboratory. They consist of heated and gassed chambers that allow for individual culture in one chamber without affecting the neighboring chambers. This allows for improved embryo development by reducing the negative effects of fluctuations in temperature and gas caused by frequent incubator access.

When we do need to remove eggs and embryos from the incubators in order to perform inseminations, biopsies, and evaluations, we have other specialized equipment that helps us maintain the temperature and gas levels outside of the incubators. IVF Tech isolettes are a controlled-atmosphere workstation that consists of self-contained chambers to reproduce similar incubator conditions allowing the embryologists to perform oocyte and embryo manipulations while minimizing environmental conditions.

The procedures we perform on oocytes and embryos require not only tremendous skill and technique, but also specific tools and equipment that are designed for use on the most precious material. We use micro-pipettes and pipette holders attached to inverted microscopes in order to perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and embryo biopsy. Embryo biopsy as well as assisted hatching is also achieved using safe clinical Zilos-TK and Lykos microsurgical laser systems from Hamilton Thorne, Inc.

Safety and optimized results are our top priority in the IVF lab. In addition to an automatic backup emergency generator system and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units, we utilize the latest in remote monitoring systems to ensure that all equipment operates at the utmost level of performance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every piece of critical equipment in the IVF lab, including incubators, refrigerators, and liquid nitrogen storage tanks are equipped with the Temperature Alert System. This is a cloud based alarm and monitoring system that takes a reading of the power supply, temperature and gas concentrations on each unit every five minutes. If any of these readings are out of the desired range, an alarm call is placed to the lab director and the embryologist on call.

You’re in good hands
Technology is important, but great care also depends on having great people. The experts who work in our IVF lab offer over 150 years of collective experience. We have an on-site MD who serves as the lab director, plus three other PhDs on site. At every level, our dedicated teams offer the expertise, personalized care and emotional support needed to help you achieve your dream.

Many of our lab professionals have worked elbow to elbow with many of the pioneers in the fertility field. Interested in learning more them? Click here for complete biographies of each one.

*On site Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) MD, American Board of Bioanlyst [ABB] High Complexity Lab Director [HCLD]. One of less than 50 REI’s in country board certified in REI and ABB as HCLD