Time-lapse cinematography of dynamic changes occurring during in vitro development of human embryos

Published:September 29, 2008DOI:


      The purpose of this study was to clarify developmental changes of early human embryos by using time-lapse cinematography (TLC).

      Study Design

      For human ova, fertilization and cleavage, development of the blastocyst, and hatching, as well as consequent changes were repeatedly photographed at intervals of 5-6 days by using an inverse microscope under stabilized temperature and pH. Photographs were taken at 30 frames per second and the movies were studied.


      Cinematography has increased our understanding of the morphologic mechanisms of fertilization, development, and behavior of early human embryos, and has identified the increased risk of monozygotic twin pregnancy based on prolonged incubation in vitro to the blastocyst stage.


      Using TLC, we observed the fertilization of an ovum by a single spermatozoon, followed by early cleavages, formation of the morula, blastocyst hatching, changes in the embryonic plates, and the development of monozygotic twins from the incubated blastocysts.

      Key words

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