I Currently Monitor CO2 And It Seems Sufficient - Why Should I Also Monitor pH?

I Currently Monitor CO2 And It Seems Sufficient - Why Should I Also Monitor pH?-IVFSynergy

A great little section on pH from our friends at Safe Sens

Many labs recognise that their equipment directly affects cell culture- but understanding how equipment functions day-to-day is critical for optimizing outcomes.

To best explain the importance of monitoring pH in incubators that already monitor CO2, we compare pH monitoring to how the home thermostat affects temperature, and apply similar concepts to how pH fluctuates in cell culture.

How Your Thermostat Affects Your Home

You set your house thermostat with the intent to
  • Keep your family feeling comfortable
  • React to changing temperatures appropriately
  • Manage energy usage and reduce costs
While the thermostat works with the furnace to set the temperature, it does not have direct control of air temperature. Without a thermometer to check the true temperature, you don't know if the heater is working correctly to align the house to your temperature needs.

It is up to you to find the setting for your preferences, and even with programming, there will be changes to the temperature between rooms, on warm days and cold days, or during days and nights.

How CO2 Gas Affects Your Embryo Culture pH

Similarly, the lab sets the incubator CO2 flow rate and gas concentration levels based on media manufacturer suggestions, with the intent to

  • Grow embryos in their best pH environment
  • React to changing gas flow correctly
  • Manage gas usage and reduce laboratory costs
When you use a bicarbonate-buffered culture media but don't monitor pH, you have no idea if your incubator, CO2, and media are all working together correctly to achieve an ideal pH range. Factors such as temperature, weather, altitude, and media composition all change media pH in combination with CO2gas, and create the actual embryo culture environment. Even though you have set the CO2 gas and flow rate based on outside suggestions, there is not a measurable way to determine the true culture environment without taking a direct measurement.

Take Control Of Your Embryo Culture

The Safe Sens® TrakStation® keeps an eye on your embryo culture conditions through media pH measurements every 30 minutes in up to 8 incubator chambers. With continuous pH monitoring, the lab can find out if current CO2settings are sufficient to meet their pH needs, and can track equipment function, bacterial contamination risk, and long-term pH effects on their culture results.
Learn More About The TrakStation

Catch Equipment Malfunction Quickly

The lab no longer needs to assume its real-time pH based on CO2 concentration. The TrakStation collects pH data that is used to determine if equipment recovers from external changes such as high workflow rates, culture protocol alterations, or unexpected equipment failures. Since the TrakStation monitors pH directly, it notifies the lab of changing pH values, with an alert notification once pH is out of range.
Read Our Previous Customer Case Study
On Resolving Equipment Failure Using pH
Learn More
The take-home message of this analogy is that a lab that relies on CO2 measurements without also measuring pH is trying to look into a black box-to truly understand your embryo culture and create the best environment for your cells, track your pH data.

Gain Ease of Mind With the TrakStation

The SAFE Sens TrakStation supports the busy lab using continuous, accurate, and useful pH data.

With The TrakStation:

  • Reduce the time embryologists spend on laboratory QC
  • Warn the lab when things go wrong
  • Use data trending to optimize your culture system
Check out our website or contact us for more information on how the SAFE Sens TrakStation can work in your lab. Our monitoring technology is trusted in 36 countries, available globally through a variety of distributors, and includes early adopters who are some of the world’s most influential and respected leaders in the IVF industry.

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