Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Van Blerkom

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. Ricardo Stephen


Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that affects many women of various ages, races, and socioeconomic factors across the world (CDC, WHO, 2017). The expensive nature of treatments for infertility, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), has been combated with a simplified culture system (SCS) developed in the Van Blerkom lab (Van Blerkom et al., 2013). This recent advancement in clinical IVF procedures has prompted an effort to develop additional, low-cost technology able to help assess pre-implantation embryogenesis development and competence. This study examines the development and application of a low-cost, simplified, time-lapse imaging system that has shown efficacy in documenting embryo development from the pronuclear to the hatched blastocyst stage in the simplified culture system.