Commercial Media for Human Embryo Culture

Dean Morbeck, Ph.D.
Nikola Baumann, Ph.D.

The September issue of Fertility and Sterility highlights a recent study completed by Mayo Clinic's Dean Morbeck, Ph.D., Nikola Baumann, Ph.D., Dietrich Matern, M.D., Ph.D., and Thomas Moyer, Ph.D. The study was designed to determine the composition of commercially available culture media and test whether differences in composition are biologically relevant in a murine model.

Dietrich Matern, M.D., Ph.D.
Thomas Moyer, Ph.D.

Using cryopreserved hybrid mouse one-cell embryos, the compositions of seven culture media were analyzed for concentrations of 39 individual amino acids, organic acids, ions, and elements. Blastocyst rates and cell cycle timings were calculated at 96 hours of culture, and the experiments were repeated in triplicate.

Of the 39 analytes, concentrations of glucose, lactate, pyruvate, amino acids, phosphate, calcium, and magnesium were present in variable concentrations, likely reflecting differences in the interpretation of animal studies. Essential trace elements, such as copper and zinc, were not detected. Mouse embryos failed to develop in one culture medium and were differentially affected by oxygen in two other media.

According to these results, culture media composition varies widely, with differences in pyruvate, lactate, and amino acids especially significant. Additionally, blastocyst development was culture media dependent and showed an interaction with oxygen concentration and presence of protein.

Read the full study to learn more.

Kelley Luedke (@kschrib)

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.