Laboratory consulting for manufacturers

Laboratory consulting

Premier center for Equine Reproduction

The continuous advances in assisted reproductive technologies have had an enormous impact on the animal breeding industry. With extensive experience in assisted reproduction, our scientific team has successfully translated research into commercial breeding programs. In 2009, we successfully cloned the first animals in Spain and in 2012, using an innovative micromanipulation technique, we were the first in Europe to obtain sex-selected horses from extra-large (XL, > 300μm) blastocysts that had been previously collapsed and vitrified. More recently, in 2020, we obtained the first foal 100% made in Spain, following the application of the ovum-pick-up (OPU), in vitro maturation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) techniques. Currently, the ICSI technique is an established procedure in our laboratory that is performed routinely and offered commercially in collaboration with veterinarians from around Europe with high success rates.

As a premier center for equine assisted reproduction with demonstrated experience and state of the art facilities, we offer breeders from around the world the most advanced assisted reproduction techniques to solve infertility problems or increase reproductive efficiencies in elite horses.

Services Available

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an in vitro fertilization procedure recommended for mares that have not been able to establish a pregnancy with conventional insemination techniques, or when there is interest in obtaining embryos in periods when they are competing. The technique can also be very efficient in generating embryos from limited sperm samples with high economic value, offering higher success rates than those that can be obtained with traditional insemination methods. The ICSI technique is offered commercially in partnership with veterinarians across Europe with proven experience in OPU. Once the oocytes have been extracted from the mare, they are sent to our laboratory, where they are matured in vitro and subsequently inseminated. The blastocysts resultant from the ICSI sessions can then be vitrified and later on shipped to any reproductive center to be transferred. We are flexible in scheduling the ICSI sessions, however, it is preferable to receive oocytes during the weekdays to avoid shipping and courier problems that sometimes occur on weekends. We collaborate with reference centers (e.g., http://brancaleoneteam.com) that have a large catalog of samples from the best stallions in the world with the possibility of being used in ICSI sessions.

Personalized training sessions in OPU can be arranged to veterinarians who intend to implement the OPUN technique in their services portfolio. The training is offered by internationally renowned veterinarians who have been pioneers in the development and application of the technique in the most prestigious equine breeding centers worldwide.

Embryo biopsy for genetic diagnosis

Embryo biopsy is based on the extraction of a reduced number of cells from an embryo at an early stage of development, without compromising its later development. The biopsied cells are immediately processed for genetic analysis and the results are obtained before the embryo is transferred to a recipient. Using this technique, it is possible to select the sex or color of the fur of the future animal as well as to avoid the transfer of an embryo carrying a mutation or chromosomal abnormality that causes a disease. The technique can be applied to blastocysts obtained from insemination or by ICSI.​

Blastocyst collapse and vitrification

We have extensive experience in the most advanced embryo vitrification methods. Embryos can be cryopreserved at different stages of development with high success rates and stored in liquid nitrogen indefinitely until our clients decide to transfer them to recipients. In the case of large size blastocysts (> 300-1500 µm), a micromanipulation technique is applied that allows the collapse of the embryo prior to vitrification, increasing success rates.

Genetic preservation

The genetics of the most valuable horses can now be preserved to guarantee that their bloodline will not be lost and they can be cloned in the future. For this simple procedure, a small biopsy sample is taken from the chosen animal by a veterinarian and immediately shipped to our laboratory in a biopsy kit and container provided by us. For better results, we recommend the biopsy to be performed when the animal is still healthy. In cases where an animal dies suddenly, a tissue sample should be obtained immediately and kept refrigerated until our biopsy kit arrives. After that it should be sent to our laboratory immediately.

Cloning

Cloning is a fascinating technology that allows the production of an animal genetically identical to an existing one. All that is required is a small biopsy sample of the animal to be cloned, as described in the genetic preservation service. Once we receive it, our scientific team will do the rest.

This technology allows our customers to greatly expand the reproductive potential of their high performance animals or to reduce the impact of an unexpected injury or death. All cloned animals are subjected to DNA testing to confirm their identities and to veterinary examinations to confirm their health status.

News of our achievements

https://www.pcb.ub.edu/en/first-foal-born-in-spain-using-a-procedure-which-enhances-reproductive-efficiency-and-genetic-preservation-in-elite-animals/

https://www.ecuestre.es/app/caballo/temas-de-cria/hito-en-la-reproduccion-asistida-equina-en-espana

For more information about our services and prices, please contact info@embryotools.com.

IVF Training center

Benefit From Our Expertise

 

At Embryotools, we believe that knowledge and expertise are the keys to achieving the best results in the IVF Laboratory. All our trainings are developed in a unique environment and highly technological laboratory with the most modern and exclusive equipment in the market available for training. We welcome you to broaden your experience and learn the most advanced techniques from our panel of experts, led by Dr. Gloria Calderon and Dr Nuno Costa-Borges.

We offer practical sessions and lessons delivered in one-to-one basis by a highly experienced team of embryologists with innate teaching skills.
Our training courses are personalized to your needs and requirements. All our courses are delivered one to one or in small groups – this ensures that our experts can provide the best education to each student.

All training courses are conducted in our state of the art facility equipped with the latest technology and equipment. Extensive materials are provided for hands-on training of each technique.  All the practical knowledge and experience we provide is quickly assimilated by the student and can be applied directly in everyday cases.

Classes can be conducted in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese.
Certificates are provided at the successful conclusion of each course.
For further information please contact us at training@embryotools.com

Available courses

 

 

 

 

 

Quality control center

Objective, Timely and Reliable Quality Control

Embryotools is an external and independent laboratory that provides quality control (QC) services specifically designed to detect toxicity in all types of materials, culture media, products or equipment used routinely in IVF laboratories. Our QC tests are designed by scientists, doctors, with more than 30 years of experience with both human and mouse gametes and embryos, giving manufacturers, suppliers and end-users maximum confidence about the services provided.

​Our state-of-the-art facilities, accredited with the ISO 17025, operate under strict GLP standards 7 days a week and are annually audited by the Spanish Accreditation Body, ENAC. Our flexibility, together with our experience, allow us to provide accurate information, detailed reports and certificates of analysis in the shortest period of time (within 7-10 working days from test article receipt). In addition, we have developed a customized an online platform to manage all QC assays, which allows our customers to easily place their orders and follow the status of their shipments and requests and download their certificates at anytime and from anywhere.

​Embryotools’ scientific team has been directly involved in the daily management of IVF Laboratories and therefore understands the specific quality control needs for each material and product used in assisted reproduction procedures. The test results will help ensure that the products can be used in the IVF laboratory with full confidence and peace of mind that they are safe for human gametes and embryos.

 

Quality control tests for screening of toxicity

Mouse Embryo Assay (MEA)

Our mouse embryo assays (MEA) are ISO 17025 accredited and performed with one-cell stage embryos from an hybrid strain to ensure the highest sensitivity, consistency and reliability of results. We offer different levels of tests that have been optimized to increase the chances of detecting the eventual presence of toxicity on each type of product. The release criteria of our MEAs exceed the standards requested by regulatory agencies to ensure the assays meet the standards expected by our customers and are not simply a regulatory requirement for batch release.

We offer the following MEA options:

  • MEA Standard: mouse embryos are exposed to the test product (through an appropriate protocol, depending on the type of product) and are cultured in vitro for 5-6 days. At least 80% of the embryos must reach the expanded blastocyst stage and pass a strict daily visual examination of morphological quality.
  • MEA Standard plus (with cell counts): after performing a standard MEA, the blastocysts obtained are subjected to a staining protocol to count the total number of cells, which allows to ensure the maximum accuracy on the evaluation of the embryo quality.
  • MEA with time-lapse (MET): In this variation of the standard MEA, the development of the embryos is monitored in time-lapse incubators, which provides information on the morphokinetic data of all the cell divisions and stages of the embryo.
  • MEA with time-lapse and cell counts (MET with cell counts): after performing a MET, the blastocysts obtained are subjected to a staining protocol to count the total number of cells, which allows to ensure the maximum accuracy on the evaluation of the embryo quality.
  • MEA with in vitro fertilization (MEA FIV): Mouse gametes are exposed to the test product before proceeding with in vitro fertilization. Properly fertilized oocytes are cultured for 6 days. As in the standard MEA, a minimum of 80% of all embryos in culture must develop to the expanded blastocyst stage and pass a strict daily visual examination of morphological quality.

Other customized MEAs can also be offered upon request.

Limulus Amebocyte Lysate Assay (LAL)

The Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay (LAL) is the most sensitive and specific test currently available to detect the presence of endotoxins in all types of materials, culture media or products used in the IVF laboratory. All protocols have been carefully optimized and validated for each type of product and are currently part of the schedule of our ISO17025 accredited tests.

Human Sperm Motility Assay (SMA)

The human sperm motility assay (SMA) is also ISO 17025 accredited and usually used as a quality control tool to test all types of devices or materials that are usually used in the processing of semen in IVF laboratories. 

For more information about our QC tests and services, please contact us at: info@embryotools.com