The Crucial Role of Air Quality Monitoring in Assisted Reproductive Laboratories

 In Blog

Assisted Reproductive Laboratories are at the forefront of cutting-edge medical technology, providing hope and assistance to couples striving for parenthood. These laboratories, specializing in in vitro fertilization (IVF), andrology, and cryopreservation, require a precise and controlled environment to maximize the chances of success. Among the key factors influencing the outcomes of these delicate procedures, air quality stands out as a crucial determinant. This blog explores the significance of air quality in these laboratories, delving into the realm of Organic Volatile Compounds (VOCs) and advanced monitoring technologies.

What are Organic Volatile Compounds (VOCs)?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, encompass a wide range of hydrocarbons that are gaseous at normal ambient temperatures. These compounds, including methane, ethane, propane, benzene, and toluene, can be of natural or human origin. Sources of VOCs are diverse, ranging from organic solvents, transportation emissions, tobacco smoke, to common household items like personal hygiene products, cosmetics, paints, and plastics.

The criticality of monitoring VOCs in Assisted Reproductive Laboratories stems from their potential embryotoxic effects, making precise control and monitoring imperative to ensure a conducive environment for gametes and embryos.

Monitoring Air Quality as per UNE 171340:2020

The UNE 171340:2020 standard provides essential guidelines for monitoring air quality in assisted reproduction laboratories. According to Annex B of this standard, the crucial parameters for monitoring include VOCs, temperature, relative humidity, differential pressure, and air change rate, which can be monitored continuously, assuring indoor air quality in real time. These parameters are fundamental to maintaining an optimal laboratory environment that supports successful reproductive procedures.

Advanced Monitoring with VOC Sensors

In the quest for accurate air quality monitoring, advanced technology plays a vital role. The integration of specialised sensors, such as highly sensitive photoionization detectors (PID) with extremely low minimum detection levels, enables real-time monitoring of VOC levels in accordance with UNE 171340:2020. These sensors, when connected to the ViGIE 3 platform, guarantee accurate monitoring of VOC levels, analysing the data in real time and presenting historical trends.

ViGIE 3 Platform: A Real-time Data Analysis hub

The ViGIE 3 platform, integrated with the range of sensors we have available for the various indoor air quality variables required by the UNE 171340:2020 standard, acts as a centralised hub for analysing and interpreting the data collected in the laboratory environment. This powerful platform offers real-time analysis, historical data recording and the ability to identify potential risks associated with critical parameters in real time. In addition, it issues timely alerts when air quality deviates from pre-set parameters, enabling rapid corrective action to maintain desired air quality levels.

In the field of assisted human reproduction, air quality is a non-negotiable factor that has a direct impact on the success rates of reproductive procedures. Understanding and monitoring Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) is vital to creating a controlled environment conducive to the growth and development of embryos. Integrating advanced sensor monitoring technologies with the ViGIE 3 platform allows laboratories to ensure air quality compliance, minimise risks and ultimately increase the chances of successful assisted reproduction. Adopting these advances is a step towards realising the dreams of future parents and advancing the field of reproductive medicine.

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