In vitro simulations of embryo transfer in a laboratory model of the uterus

Osnat Eytan*, Uri Zaretsky, Ariel J. Jaffa, David Elad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Embryo transfer (ET) is the final manual intervention during which the newly formed embryo is placed within the uterus by a transcervical catheter. The loading of the syringe-catheter complex with the transferred volume consists of the transfer media (which contains the embryos) separated by air spaces on both sides. The dynamics involved in injecting the syringe-catheter complex is not well understood nor has it been investigated to date. We developed an in vitro experimental setup for simulations of ET into a rigid transparent uterine model. The catheter was loaded in sequences of liquid and air as it is in the clinical setting. The transferred liquid was colored with a dye and its dispersion within the uterine cavity was recorded by a video camera. The results demonstrated, for the first time, the importance of having a gas phase in the catheter load. The resulting air bubbles within the uterus were carried upward towards the fundus by buoyant forces, thereby dragging behind them the transferred liquid which contained the embryos. This could be expected to substantially increase the probability for the embryos to be present near the fundal wall at the time window for implantation. There was also evidence of a dependency of the rate of injection upon the catheter load into the uterus: a low speed generated several air bubbles which led to more of the transferred liquid being carried towards the fundal end, thus possibly enhancing the potential for implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1080
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2007


  • Air bubble
  • Buoyancy
  • Catheter load
  • Embryo implantation
  • Transferred volume


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro simulations of embryo transfer in a laboratory model of the uterus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this