New groundbreaking IVF technology is allowing parents to obtain baby ‘cellfies’ – images of their children when they are just a few cells in a petri dish.
In recent years, IVF clinics have developed cutting-edge timelapse photography designed to monitor cell development in the first few days, so that doctors can pick the healthiest embryo for implantation in the womb and boost the chances of having a baby.
The technique has also allowed parents to witness the beginning of their child’s life at the very moment of conception, and in the crucial few days after fertilisation.
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Clinics in the UK are also set to start trialling technology to allow prospective mothers and fathers to watch
the live footage as the embryos are developing in the lab. “Timelapse technology has allowed us to get all these
images from the first few days after conception and put them on a USB stick so that parents have pictures of their
children, literally, from day one, when they are still in the laboratory,” said Charles Kingsland, of the Hewitt Fertility
Centre at Liverpool.
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“But it won’t be long before parents will be able to dial into the clinic using a unique number and see how their
embryos are getting on in real time,” Kingsland said. “Embryos are very sensitive, so in the past we could only
get them out every 24 hours and have a look at how they were doing, but now we photograph them every 10 minutes,” he added.