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Time-lapse imaging (TLI) is a technique that involves capturing a series of digital images of developing embryos at regular intervals over time, usually every few minutes. The images are acquired using specialized microscopes and cameras that are capable of imaging embryos without causing damage or disrupting their development.

The TLI system is typically composed of several components, including the microscope, camera, image capture software, and a controlled incubator to maintain stable temperature, humidity, and gas concentrations.

The acquired images are then analyzed using specialized software that tracks changes in the size, shape, and organization of individual cells within the embryo. This software can detect subtle differences in the timing and pattern of cell division, as well as other morphological features that may indicate the health and viability of the embryo.

TLI provides embryologists with a wealth of information about the developmental progress of the embryo and its potential for successful implantation and pregnancy. For example, the software can calculate the time to specific developmental milestones, such as the first cell division or the formation of the blastocyst, and assess the symmetry and regularity of cell division. This information can be used to select the healthiest and most viable embryos for transfer.

In addition, TLI has been used to study the impact of various environmental factors, such as temperature, pH, and oxygen concentration, on embryo development. This information can be used to optimize the culture conditions to improve embryo quality and developmental potential.

Overall, TLI is a powerful tool that provides embryologists with real-time information about embryo development and quality, enabling them to make more informed decisions about embryo selection and transfer during IVF procedures.

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