Estimation of embryo transfer media viscosity and consideration of its effect on media and uterine fluid interactions.


The Fertility Center of New Mexico, 201 Cedar Street SESuite S1-20, Albuquerque New Mexico 87106, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : What are the viscosities of media used for human embryo transfer and what is the possible effect of viscosity as it relates to interactions between transfer media and uterine fluid.
METHODS : Chamber slide filling times, in seconds, were used to calculate viscosity for each commercial and in-house modified medium, with 12 or 24 replicates per medium under standard operating procedure temperature and gas equilibration conditions used for embryo transfer. Means, standard deviations and coefficients of variation were calculated, and each viscosity was estimated using a regression equation; viscosities for each medium were presented for comparative purposes.
RESULTS : Complete culture media (G1-Plus, G2-Plus, G-TL, 1-Step, Global Total, Global Total HEPES, and Sperm Wash Medium) had viscosity estimates of 1.65 cP, 1.77 cP, 1.68 cP, 1.29cP, 1.18 cP, 1.15 cP, and 1.20 cP, respectively. Complete transfer media (EmbryoGlue, UTM), had viscosity estimates of 3.59 cP and 1.28 cP, respectively. Global HEPES medium with 10%, 20%, 30%, and 50% synthetic serum substitute (SSS) volume per volume had viscosity estimates 1.16 cP, 1.23 cP, 1.25 cP, and 1.34 cP, respectively. For reference, water had a viscosity estimate of 1.06 cP.
CONCLUSIONS : A relatively narrow distribution of viscosities was observed across several transfer media despite the various commercial or in-house modifications. These data demonstrate the vast difference between viscosities of embryo transfer media and the assumed viscosity of uterine fluid (1000 cP). Contemporary embryo transfer media may be well-suited for IVF, but evaluation of all variables, e.g. media viscosity in the context of embryo transfer, adds to the knowledge base that should be available to practitioners.


ET,Embryo transfer,IVF,Media,Uterine fluid,Viscosity,

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