Research Instruments Ltd, a company that develops cutting edge technology and biomedical equipment for use in the Assisted Reproduction (AR) sector, today announced the company has been awarded a European patent for their RI Witness™ system. It's the first to issue from a portfolio of patents filed for RI Witness™.
RI Witness™ technology monitors patients' eggs, sperm and embryos throughout the fertility treatment cycle using non-invasive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to track each patient's biological samples. The patent covers the RFID readers which are integrated into or placed at workstations where gametes or embryos are transferred from one container to the next. The system is designed to minimise the risks associated with traditional manual double-checking or alternative witnessing methods and provides the essential controls necessary to ensure eggs, sperm and embryos are correctly matched and treated during the AR process. If plasticware containing samples of incompatible origin come into contact at any stage of the AR cycle, the system activates an alarm and prompts the clinician to respond and halt the procedure.
"The RFID reader's unique design ensures only one set of samples are worked on at any given time," said David Lansdowne, Technical Director of Research Instruments. "It provides an additional layer of security and confidence for the embryologist and patients that the correct samples are being used and the appropriate protocols followed.
RI Witness' readers also ensure samples are maintained at the appropriate temperature throughout manipulation. It offers a controlled working environment while eliminating the risk of mixed samples."
Other non manual witnessing systems customarily rely on embryologists to request a sample check but these only give a tiny snapshot of biological material whereabouts when out of the incubator. In contrast, RI Witness™ automatically identifies all samples so no tagged plasticware goes unchecked. "We're delighted this first patent has been granted," Lansdowne added. "By creating an holistic system to further validate established safety protocols, RI Witness™ is giving thousands of infertility patients, lab technicians and embryologists peace of mind."
102 clinics worldwide have adopted RI Witness™ to monitor and track their samples in over five continents, securing over 100,000 cycles every year. The system is used throughout Europe, America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In the UK alone, RI Witness™ monitors 67% of all infertility treatment cycles.