The human embryo culture medium provides environment and nutrition to an embryo, mimicking the natural environment of the uterus. Recent developments in medical technologies, especially in assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs), have led to evolution of new culture mediums for the human embryo. In ART, the egg and the sperms are conjoined in a petri dish or other specific container containing culture medium.
The culture medium provides nutrition to the growing embryo in the form of carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, growth factors, and electrolytes. The culture medium has ingredients such as antibiotics and stabilizers to maintain the pH. Culture medium preparation is the most crucial process in ART. A majority of failures of ART are attributable to imbalance or wrong composition of the culture medium. There exist more than 20 different ingredients with which the human embryo culture medium is composed.
Rise in public awareness about in vitro fertilization techniques has led to increasing demand for assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs). According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology of the U.S., in 2012, around 61,000 babies were born by the IVF technique in the country. Similarly, the European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology’s (ESHRE) 2014 report states that there are around five million IVF-born babies worldwide. Increasing number of people opting for ART is likely to drive the global human embryo culture mediums market from 2017 to 2025. Several public and private sector health care providers and payers are supporting IVF procedures through funding and re-imbursements, which is estimated to propel the market during the forecast period. However, development of in-house culture mediums and increase in the number of new market entrants are estimated to hamper the market for human embryo culture mediums in the next few years.
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The global human embryo culture mediums market has been segmented based on product, end-user, and region. In terms of product, the market has been divided into single-step culture mediums and sequential-step culture mediums. In case of single-step culture mediums, the medium is not changed during procedures such as fertilization check or cryopreservation, while in case of sequential-step culture mediums, the medium is changed at every step of the ART process. Both mediums have their own advantages and disadvantages, which have led to significant adoption of both mediums in the IVF industry. Based on end-user, the market has been segmented into hospitals, IVF clinics, and others. The IVF clinics segment is likely to account for a significant share of the market, as several hospitals outsource their IVF procedures to IVF clinics owing to their developed infrastructure and high expertise.
Geographically, the global human embryo culture mediums market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is estimated to hold a leading share of the global market during the forecast period, due to high adoption of ARTs and high expenditure on IVF by public and private sectors. Europe is estimated to account for a significant share of the global market for human embryo culture mediums during the forecast period. Increasing awareness about IVF and developing health care infrastructure in emerging markets such as China and India are projected to be responsible for significant growth of the market in Asia Pacific. Declining fertility rate and increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related disorders across developed and developing regions are factors likely to fuel the IVF industry. This, in turn, is estimated to surge uptake of human embryo culture mediums.
Major players operating in the global human embryo culture mediums market are CooperSurgical Fertility Company, Vitrolife AB, Cook Medical, Irvine Scientific, Genea Biomedx, and Surelife Pte. Ltd.