Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
During in vitro fertilisation (IVF), a technique which helps couples to have a baby, one of the most important and discussed issues is how to select the right embryo for transfer to the womb. Today, this selection is made by removing the embryos from the incubator in which they are cultured, to be looked at for a short time under a microscope. This can only be done a few times during the growth of the embryo, since human embryos are very sensitive to changes in the environment that occur when they are taken out from the incubator. The aim of this study is both to introduce better ways to grow embryos during the first days, and also to improve the selection of the best embryo for transfer. We know that the time taken for each cell division is the key factor that determines the overall quality of the embryo. We also know that having the correct number of cells (not too few, not too many) at a certain time during development is of great importance for the embryo to grow in the womb and for the birth of a child. However, these things are difficult to follow and we have not been able to study the development of the embryo continuously until a few years ago.

Who can participate?
In this study we are asking patients with fertility problems and who are going through their first cycle of IVF treatment to participate. They can only participate in the study once.

What does the study involve?
Patients are randomly allocated to one of two groups. We will either let the embryos grow in a special kind of incubator with a camera inside and a screen on the outside (treatment group) or in a standard incubator (control group). By growing in the special incubator, the embryos can be photographed at specific times over several days. This results in a continuous film of their development called time-lapse imaging. This will allow us to follow the growth of the embryos without removing them from the incubator, which is believed to increase the wellbeing of the embryos. In addition, we will be able to see exactly when they go through each cell division.

What are the benefits and risks of participating in this study?
The possible benefits are that embryos will be growing in a better environment, and that we may be able to better select the right embryo for the transfer. There are no risks in participating, the only difference in their treatment is that their embryos will be growing in a different incubator to the standard one.

Where is the study run from?
This study is run at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The recruitment of patients started in May 2010 and will run until December 2013.

Who is funding the study?
This study is funded by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, UK.

Who is the main contact?
Prof Kersti Lundin

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Kersti Lundin


Contact details

Reproductive Medicine
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Blå Stråket 6
413 45

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A randomised control trial assessing quality of human embryos cultured in a closed, optimised system with time-lapse compared to embryos cultured in a conventional incubator


Study hypothesis

Our hypothesis is that culture in a closed system with minimal fluctuations in temperature and pH will result in more embryos of high quality and that the variables (cleavage time and synchronicity), will correlate with the morphological embryo quality and survival after freezing and thereby constitute novel independent predictors for implantation. These variables could then be used to study the effects of different culture conditions with the purpose to culture and select embryos with the highest potential for implantation and birth of a (single) child.

Ethics approval

Regional Ethical Review Board,Gothenburg, Sweden; 09/12/2009; Dnr: 666-09

Study design

Single-centered, prospective, randomised controlled study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Human embryo culture and fertility


All of the patients' embryos are randomised to be cultured in an embryoscope with time-lapse or to be conventionally cultured in an incubator without time-lapse.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

The primary end variable is the number of cleaved embryos of high quality

Secondary outcome measures

Secondary end variables are fertilisation, implantation rate and birth rate

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Patients who undergoes their first in vitro fertilisation (IVF)/intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycle and obtains at least one oocyte

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Patients who have already participated in the study
2. Patients going through egg donation treatment

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Reproductive Medicine
413 45

Sponsor information


Unisense FertiliTech (Denmark)

Sponsor details

Brendstrupsgaardsvej 21F
Aarhus N

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Ferring Pharmaceuticals (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

Gothenburg University (Sweden)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2014 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes