Gavi is a world-first automated embryo vitrification system for use in assisted reproduction, aimed at increasing the fertility outcome for families.
Providing greater certainty and control for embryologists in the delicate procedure of preparing IVF embryos for freezing, Gavi is an entire product ecosystem built around a unique core Pod technology.
The success of IVF embryo vitrification relies heavily on the manual dexterity of a highly skilled embryologist. A repetitive, time consuming process subject to human variation means not all embryos are treated equal.
By automating critical steps, Gavi standardizes the process and ensures each embryo is treated in the best possible way. Utilizing a robotic pipette system to dispense & aspirate the various culture mediums during the cycle, the fluidics system is capable dosing extremely small amounts of fluid in the order of micro-liters.
The unique pod system means fragile embryos no longer need to be moved during vitrification; rather Gavi keeps the embryos in one place, while everything is moved around it.
Core to the system is the Pod that protects the embryo during processing.
The innovative chamber in the pod ensures that the fragile embryo is held in place whilst aspirating/dispensing liquid around it – preventing the extremely light embryo from being sucked up the pipette.
Perfected over five years of development, the designers trialed numerous ideas to support and secure the embryo, testing hundreds of iterations.
The resulting Pod design features a central well to hold the embryo, with microfluidic dynamics to allow fluids to flow freely around the embryo during the process.
Once processed, the Pod is sealed automatically by the instrument, prior to being immersed in liquid nitrogen.
Raising the bar of laboratory instrument design, Gavi stands out against competitors in terms of aesthetic design and build quality.
Subtle curved panels, contrasting materials and seamless integration of functional elements create a design that is the showpiece of many labs.
Details such as soft-close friction hinges on doors add quality and reduce chance of a door inadvertently closing on an operator.
Use of accent colors on internal surfaces adds interest to an otherwise utilitarian aspect of the product. Even the design of the roto-molded freezing buckets has been carefully considered, with selection of textures and finishes that complement the instrument
The designers took a holistic approach to maximize ease of use.
From the large touch-screen interface right down to the color coded labels on consumables, consistent use of design language, accent colors, iconography and branding means key elements are easily identifiable at a glance.
Integrated vision systems within the instrument warn operators if any of the system elements are missing. A unique magnetic latching on embryo cassettes works equally reliably at room temperature or embryo freezing temperature (-196°C).
Simple features such as locking cassette tweezers reduces the chance of operator’s hands coming into contact with liquid nitrogen when immersing embryos into the freezing buckets.
Considerable development and validation was undertaken to ensure materials and manufacturing processes used in the instrument and consumables would not have a detrimental effect on the highly sensitive embryos.
A bespoke manufacturing facility has been setup in Melbourne to produce the instruments under the strictest of quality controls. Here best practice manufacturing principles have been employed to ensure the instruments are assembled with efficient use of labor.
Serviceability of the instruments also features heavily in the design. From the modular aspect of critical sub-assemblies, to standardization of fasteners where possible, the instrument is designed for easy servicing and end-of-life recycling.