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Back to Basics: pH for the ARTisan

(Importance of pH and Buffer Selection in IVF)

As embryologists, we strive to optimize culture conditions and improve embryo development by minimizing stresses imposed on gametes and embryos during their manipulations within the in vitro environment. We accomplish this through precise handling of cells and supplies within the lab, as well as tedious attention to detail. Indeed, the devil is in the details when it comes to improving culture conditions. It is readily apparent that improper set-points in growth conditions are stressors negatively impacting gametes and embryos, whether they be improper media energy substrate composition, temperature, or osmolality. However, periodic fluctuations in environmental conditions are also harmful stressors, as these are easily transduced into deleterious intracellular perturbations. One such environmental parameter, which not only requires that strict attention be paid to its set-point…

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