Culture media are an essential part of a culture system that aims to minimize harmful effect on gametes and embryos. Sequential and monoculture or single step media, two methods are being used to culture reproductive cells in this era.
- Flushing/Rinsing IVF media- HEPES or MOPS buffered media are designed specifically for rinsing and flushing needles, tubes, washing, of the cervix before embryo transfer and for flushing of OCC complex after oocyte collection, Such media does not need incubation but only warming for one hour before use. G-MOPS PLUS is also supplemented with human serum albumin. These maintain the pH of the cells at 37 degree Celsius and are created to be used specifically in ambient atmospheric air conditions and not an enriched Co2 environment. The media consists of nonessential amino acids to assist the maintenance of homeostasis within the oocyte-cumulus complex during the collection procedure, Amino acids have a protective role that helps the embryo to maintain homeostasis. This is of crucial importance during early stage of development , before formation of the transporting epithelium.
- Fertilization media- This contains all components necessary to support oocyte and sperm function during the process of fertilization. It contains glucose and fructose to hold up both cumulus cells and sperm functionality. These are bicarbonate buffered medium, which provides a glucose-rich environment for efficient oocyte-cumulus complex and sperm cell metabolism. Helps provide a suitable environment for gamete fusion that contains antioxidants and nonessential amino acids. Upon finishing the washing of oocyte-cumulus complex with flushing HEPES/MOPS based buffers, they are shifted to fertilization medium, where insemination is carried out.
- Cleavage stage Media- Bicarbonate-buffered media cultures human embryos from the PN stage to day 2 and day 3. This medium contains amino acids to support embryo viability and is buffered by bicarbonate. High pyruvate and low glucose help in optimising early cleavage stage development.
- Blastocyst Stage Media- The media is used for culture of human embryos from the 8-cell stage/D3 until the blastocyst stage and embryo transfer. It contains essential and nonessential amino. Acids for improved blastocyst development and are ideal for use in a low-oxygen environment that replicates the human reproductive tract.
- Embryo transfer media- it is used in one of the most sensitive and critical procedures in IVF treatment. It has been designed exclusively for embryo transfer for increasing the implantation-enhancing effect. Ex Embryoglue and Embryogen.