Michael Lee, director of laboratories at Fertility Solutions in Boston, made the switch from traditional large-scale incubation units in 2009. Within six months, significantly improved results confirmed he made the right decision.* After 4 years of using MINC benchtop incubators, we asked him to share his top five tips for getting the most out of the incubators.
- Position with care: “As obvious as it may sound, attention should be paid to the location of the MINC on installation. Avoid positioning the incubator under air vents, and ensure the surface is level and not subject to excessive vibrations.”
- Test the gas mixture: “Ask your gas supplier to prepare several mixes ranging from 5-8% CO2. Trial each one and measure the related pH of the media. While 6% is recommended, the best level may vary from clinic to clinic due to factors such as altitude.”
- Track the pH: “Place a 5 mL falcon tube with a snap cap and 2 mL media in the MINC overnight. By simply laying the tube on its side you should be able to attain a nice, simple pH reading.”
- Stick to stainless steel: “Plastic lines may leach CO2, which has a negative effect on the buffering of culture media. Stainless steel braided lines are best as they allow for a constant, consistent gas flow.”
- Culture with Cook: “The Cook culture media suite complements the MINC. Using any other media would introduce variables you’d have to work at adjusting. With Cook, someone has already done the work for you.”
* Lee M., Grazi R., Seifer DB. Incorporation of the Cook K-Minc Incubator and Media System into the IVF lab: The future of IVF. J Clin Embryol. 2010;13(3):21,24-32.