Dr. Pankaj Talwar
Dr. Pankaj Talwar

An IVF setup must have appropriate functionalities to mitigate any hazardous effects upon oocytes, sperms or embryos, and ensure good laboratory practice. The laboratory should be placed next to the operating room where clinical procedures are performed. When commissioning the IVF laboratory, the most recent developments in facilities, equipment and procedures should be considered.

Attention should be paid to ergonomics to provide a safe working environment that minimises the risk of distraction, fatigue and subsequently making a mistake. Taking into account local, national and International occupational health and safety requirements, considerations should include bench height, adjustable chairs, adequate work space per person, microscope eye height, efficient use of space and surfaces, adequate lighting and air-conditioning with controlled humidity and ambient temperature. More specifically:

  • Materials used in laboratory construction, painting, flooring and furniture should be according to clean room standards, minimising Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) excretion and embryo toxicity.
  • Laboratory design should ensure optimal workflow over minimal distances while handling reproductive cells during all phases.
  • Access to lab should be restricted to authorised personnel.
  • A system for clean access of personnel and materials to the laboratory is suggested to avoid contamination.
  • Some separate should be available outside the laboratory such as a changing room, a space for hand-washing facilities, an office for administrative work, an area for cleaning and sterilization.
  • A separate laboratory with a safety fume hood should be provided for analyses using fixatives and other toxic reagents.