Requirements for blastocyst development in vitro

Journal of Animal Science
R L Brinster, D E Troike


Four characteristics of culture medium that are important to embryo development and nutrition of the blastocyst have been discussed. An examination of several of the most commonly used media for embryo culture demonstrates many similarities among them. The milliosmolarities of the media range from the hypoosmotic optimums (256 milliosmols) demonstrated in several in vitro studies to the physiologic range (308 to 315 milliosmols). Media between these extremes generally allow good development. Low oxygen concentrations (5%) in the culture environment allow somewhat better development of early cleavage stages, but recent studies suggest the difference between development in 5 and 20% oxygen to be less than originally thought. The media most commonly employed for early embryo culture contain bicarbonate as the buffer, but maintenance of pH is probably not the most crucial role of the CO2-bicarbonate content of the media. Likewise, since 1965 almost all media used to culture embryos have used pyruvate as the primary energy source. This is particularly important when early stages, before blastocyst development, are cultured. The concentration used generally falls within the optimum range of 2.5 to 5.0 X 10(-4)M first reported. Althou...Continue Reading


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