IVF Laboratory Design, the Super Clean Room
The Embryology laboratory at Ovation Fertility Austin has been designed to provide an environment that is as close to optimum as possible for the growth of human embryos and to provide the best resulting pregnancy rates for patients undergoing IVF cycles.
The requirements of embryos during their early development have been discovered gradually by researchers over the 30 years of successful in vitro fertilization. These requirements have been incorporated into the design of our laboratory. In fact, the importance of a quality environment outside of the incubators has been learned and refined only within the last ten years. We have been fortunate to have been able to incorporate these latest revelations into the construction of our laboratory. As further knowledge is gained into the optimum method of growing human embryos, the Ovation Fertility Austin team is committed to making this laboratory as up to date as possible.
What we have learned and incorporated into the Ovation Fertility Austin laboratory includes the following:
The quality of the air within the lab is affected by:
- Outside air
- Building air
- Products brought into the laboratory
First of all, the air that is drawn into the lab from outside of the building by the air conditioning system can have many contaminants in it. Being located within a city, there are automobile exhaust fumes and diesel fumes from construction heavy equipment that are present all of the time. There is also wind-blown smoke from brush and crop clearing, even from Mexico. All of these products can get into the lab air and into the incubators where they can be deadly to early embryo growth in extremely small doses. In order to eliminate these toxic products from the laboratory air, Ovation Fertility Austin has consulted with air quality experts who know the needs of in vitro fertilization laboratories.
Together, we have designed and constructed an air filtering system that is state of the art. This includes a series of potassium permanganate and carbon filters which eliminate toxic organic chemicals, such as automobile fumes, diesel fumes, smoke and construction paints and glues. These small molecule products are the most toxic products to human embryos and, thus, the most important toxins to eliminate when growing human embryos. Because the outside air also contains particles, such as bacteria, viruses and dust, there is a set of HEPA filters (high efficiency particulate absorbing) that this air must also pass through before entering the lab. Twice each year, the lab air coming from the A/C system is checked for purity by an air quality expert to insure that the elaborate filtering system is effective.
The filtered air that is brought into the lab through the air conditioning ducts must also keep out air that can seep into the lab from within the building. This air is from non-filtered A/C units for other suites as well as the air that comes into the building from door openings. This air is kept out of the IVF lab by having the air within the lab to be blown in forcefully enough to keep the lab under positive pressure. The air within the lab is also checked for purity twice each year.