Culture of Gametes and Embryos (SLS322)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of culture systems used in an IVF laboratory. They will gain experience of the culture of gametes and embryos in a clinical setting. They will gain understanding on how quality management integrates with the laboratory processes, and how to identify, troubleshoot and correct problems.

  1. Use sterile technique to prepare culture dishes appropriate for gametes and embryos.
  2. Culture embryos to maintain viability.
  3. Perform quality control checks within the laboratory.
  4. Analyse key performance indicators with respect to defined outcomes.
  5. Identify, troubleshoot and solve problems.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1,2

Assess air quality in the laboratory.

2 2

Correctly use incubators, heated stages and tube warmers to maintain temperature conditions.

3 1

Use workstations/safety cabinets correctly to maintain sterility of samples.

4 1

Perform sterilisation and decontamination techniques for equipment and facilities used in tissue culture.

5 1,2

Prepare consumables and media for oocyte collection; fertilisation checks; embryo culture; embryo transfer; embryo cryopreservation and thawing/warming.

6 3,4,5

Analyse data required for specific key performance indicators (KPIs)

7 3

Perform inward receipt of consumables to carry out the necessary quality control checks and traceability requirements.

You must complete
2 Case-based discussion(s)
2 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Carry out QC checks to assess laboratory air quality DOPS
Prepare culture dishes utilising medium suitable for the different stages of development using aseptic technique DOPS
Perform functional equipment checks on workstations to ensure viability can be maintained DOPS
Produce KPIs DOPS
Check consumables in to the system and ensure the correct information is required to maintain traceability DOPS
Perform sterility checks on medium DOPS
An appropriate activity agreed with your Training Officer OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and justify the design requirements of a laboratory used to support reproductive science.
  2. Describe culture systems used in reproductive science.
  3. Describe the importance of the culture environment and the implications for gamete and embryo viability.

Indicative Content

  • Laboratory design and regulatory requirements
  • Preimplantation embryo metabolism, including the energy and nutritional requirements of gametes and embryos
  • Principles of culture systems used in the IVF laboratory, including types of culture systems (e.g. microdrops) and different incubator environments (e.g. low oxygen)
  • Types of media and their applications
  • Control of the culture environment for gametes/embryos in the ART laboratory, the role of buffers and the implications of pH and temperature on cellular processes
  • Regulatory issues
  • Laboratory quality indicators