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Vios Fertility Institute in Creve Coeur Introduces Groundbreaking ‘Cryo-Robot’ Storage Management System

Vios Fertility Institute in Creve Coeur Introduces Groundbreaking ‘Cryo-Robot’ Storage Management System

Doctors home visit

About 12 percent of American women ages 15 to 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many struggling with infertility turn to assisted reproductive technology, and Vios Fertility Institute, at three clinical settings in the metro area, helps patients explore options and receive treatment.

Dr. Amber R. Cooper, director of the medical and in vitro fertilization practice at Vios’ Creve Coeur location, says the organization now offers a new technology designed to improve services and outcomes.

With the space-age name “cryo-robot,” created by New York-headquartered TMRW Life Sciences Inc., Vios introduced the first “automated cryogenic storage system for the management, identification and storage of frozen eggs and embryos used in IVF treatment and fertility preservation.” (Cryogenic science, often shortened to cryo and loosely synonymous with cryonics, involves producing very low temperatures, generally for biochemical and medical purposes.)

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Prior to the cryo-robot’s addition, the IVF process was entirely manual, Cooper says. “Issues that have plagued fertility clinics through the years include embryo mix-ups, incorrect transfers of embryos and catastrophic failures resulting in the loss of thousands of irreplaceable eggs and embryos,” she continues. “TMRW’s technology automates and digitizes the entire process, which helps reduce the risk for human error and, more importantly, allows the clinic to individually track eggs and embryos 24/7 through remote monitoring, sensors and state-of-the-art software.”

Using the new technology, Vios constantly monitors specimens on-site and remotely, while patients can check in on their individual specimens, accessing information on real-time storage conditions. Cooper says the ability to obtain this level of specific information provides “peace of mind for patients as it pertains to their precious cryogenic tissue.”

Although the introduction of the cryo-robot is new, the concept has been building momentum for several years.

“One area of great interest, lately, has been how robotics and automation can assist in storing, retrieving and monitoring IVF tissue,” Cooper says. “Typically, cryogenic IVF tissue is monitored using traditional hard-wired systems that rely solely on human observations. When the TMRW company originally approached Vios, it really provided us an opportunity to stop and evaluate how the introduction of this great system would help Vios provide an even greater level of security with our cryogenic storage systems for our ever-growing patient population.”

The Creve Coeur clinic, which began transferring patient fertility specimens to the cryo-robot on Jan. 26, is only the sixth location in the nation to introduce the cryo-robot, which Cooper refers to as the “gold standard” in cryogenic storage systems. “It is this type of forward-thinking that will help patients achieve their family goals safely and efficiently,” she says. 

Vios Fertility Institute, 347 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Creve Coeur, 866-258-8467 (new patients), 314-266-2062 (existing patients), viosfertility.com/st-louis-clinics

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Connie, a native of St. Charles and graduate of the MU School of Journalism, is a freelance writer and editor who contributes to print and online publications for clients throughout the region. She enjoys travel, hiking, kayaking and drinking good coffee

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