The assisted reproductive laboratories, also known as the andrology (the science of male reproduction, sperm biology and reproductive technology) and embryology (the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development) laboratories are critical components of a successful fertility program.
Accreditation, Certification and Registration
We were the first in-vitro fertilization, (IVF), laboratory in the Lehigh Valley area in 1998 and are fully accredited in endocrinology, andrology and embryology by the College of American Pathologists, (CAP). We are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) with respect to 21 CFR 1271 HCT/P (a federal law that regulates any establishment that manufactures, procures, processes and distributes human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue based products).
Our passionate pursuit of perfection is the driving force behind our on-going rigorous quality improvement program. We have the advantage of an on-site and experienced laboratory director, Dr. H. Christina Lee, who is actively involved with the day-to-day activities in the laboratories. As a team, we anticipate issues pertinent to laboratory performance and proactively avert problems. We constantly track pertinent metrics for quality performance, regularly update our protocols and revise our laboratory procedures behind the scene so as to bring the best laboratory quality for your treatment at the Family Fertility Center.
We incorporate the state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technologies in our assisted reproductive laboratory to allow every embryo to develop to its fullest potential. Our laboratories have been equipped with clean room technologies using high efficiency purification of air (HEPA) system since 1998.
In 2010, we replaced our traditional bulky incubators with all table top incubators. This new generation of incubators is specifically designed for IVF. Fluctuations in temperature and pH (acidity), along with high (20%) oxygen concentration as found in ambient air are known to adversely affect the growth of human embryos in the laboratory. Using pre-mix certified gas with low (6%) oxygen content, table top incubators provide a more embryo friendly environment with a more rapid temperature recovery, tighter pH control, and lower oxygen toxicity than traditional large box incubator. This translates into less stress and more optimal growth for your embryos. It is just another example of our commitment to bring the latest technological improvement into our laboratory and our goal to achieve the best possible clinical outcome for our patients.
We introduced assisted hatching and intracytoplasmic injection in our laboratory since 1995 with our first ICSI baby born in 1996. In collaboration with molecular genetic laboratories including Reprogenetics, Genesis Genetics, Reproductive Genetics Institute and others, we have been performing embryo biopsy and preimplantation genetic screen (PGS) for spontaneous abnormal chromosomes (aneuploidies), as well as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of specific genetic mutation on human embryos since 2004. We are now offering vitrification of oocytes for fertility preservation.
Our Andrology Laboratory
Our updated computerized sperm analysis system allows rapid measurement of sperm count and sperm motility. It also provides a reproducible imaging and objective evaluation of sperm morphology by strict Kruger criteria, now adopted by the World Health Organization. This computerized system eliminates the highly unreliable manual measurement of sperm morphology often seen in semen analysis from other laboratories.
We perform semen analysis for our patients as well as patients who are referred to our andrology laboratory. All semen analysis results are generally reported to the referring physician within two business days.
In addition, our andrology laboratory performs anti-sperm antibodies, freezing of semen for cryopreservation: for males recently diagnosed with cancer or other medical indications, as well as sperm processing for insemination or in-vitro fertilization.
Our Embryology Laboratory
We respect and take meticulous care of each embryo in the laboratory using the latest technological innovation to create the most optimal culturing conditions. Our high ethical standards and transparency policy means you are fully informed of the conditions of your eggs, sperm, and embryos at all times.
Embryo Biopsy on a Day 3 Embryo