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COVID-19 Update 24th March 2020

COVID-19 Update from Planer LtdThe global outbreak of Covid-19 is very serious and our sympathies go out to the families around the world that have been affected by this outbreak. We are also aware that many of our customers have concerns about shortages of the products and services that we manufacture and supply.

Since the initial outbreak, Planer has been closely monitoring the situation for potential impact to the supply of our products and have implemented strategies to ensure that we can continue to operate as close to normal as possible without increasing the risk to our employees or customers.

We have reduced staff on site through working from home policies and our manufacturing, shipping and service team continue to operate safely within the government guidelines with minimal disruptions. We are therefore in full operation should you have any service or order requirements. 

How to contact us
To reach the correct department as easily as possible please use the contact details below. 

Office main line number: 01932 755000
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.– for all technical support
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- when placing an order
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - for general sales enquiries about our range of products

We will of course continue to monitor the advice from the World Health Organisation, the UK Government and Public Health England and keep you updated on any necessary changes to the way we operate. 

Adrian Fuller 
Managing Director

IVF Culture Conditions - The Cairo Consensus Guidelines

IVF CultureThere is only one thing that is truly important in an IVF laboratory: everything.

The report presents the outcomes from an international expert meeting to establish consensus guidelines on IVF culture, reviewing topics such as embryo culture; temperature; humidity; gas control; pH; workstations; incubators; micromanipulation; handling and assessment. In summary it says, "Clinical IVF has had a relatively unrestricted development over the past 40 years, with the result that there is now a plethora of permutations of laboratory culture systems. Some laboratories have retained aspects from the mid-1980s, while others are more likely to embrace change and adopt novel aspects of IVF culture as they are introduced."

Against this background, it is a challenge to identify and define what might constitute ‘best practice’ in the IVF laboratory. However, there are key physcochemical factors that affect oocytes and embryos in every IVF laboratory: temperature control, maintaining osmolarity and pH, and protection from oxidative stress and toxic substances, such as volatile organic compounds. The purpose of the consensus workshop, held at the UEARS 2018 conference (17–18 February 2018, Cairo, Egypt) was to define the technical and procedural requirements for an IVF laboratory’s culture system while taking these factors into account. The overarching goal of the workshop was to identify how best to operate to achieve best practice and to optimise the developmental competency of all gametes received and embryos obtained. 

The report develops an expert consensus opinion on the various options currently available for equipment and procedures and the criteria by which users can determine fitness for purpose within their own laboratories, and to identify areas for priority research to fill knowledge gaps. It was not the goal to define exactly what should – or should not – be done in the IVF laboratory, as these decisions must be taken in connection with local regulatory and licensing requirements.

Click the link below to download the full report
'There is only one thing that is truly important in an IVF laboratory: everything’. The Cairo Consensus Guidelines on IVF Culture Conditions. Read full report (Open Access)

Tri-Gas Mixer for benchtop incubators

Tri-Gas Mixer controller, suitable for all benchtop incubatorsWe are delighted to announce that Planer is now distributing worldwide the Okolab Tri-Gas Mixer, a controller that is designed to be compatible with every benchtop incubator.

The Tri-Gas Mixer is a digital CO2-O2 controller that mixes CO2, air and N2 to the desired concentration ranging between 0-10 % for both CO2 and O2, and at controlled pressure in the range of 0-2 barg (0-30 psig).

Delivery pressure is easily regulated by adjusting the knob of the embedded pressure gauge. The device is equipped with a mixing tank to ensure the highest composition stability even when the required output flow is variable.

Compatible with all benchtop incubators
The Tri-Gas Mixer is compatible with any benchtop incubator available on the market. Models are available with maximum output flow rate of 1.5 L/min and 15 L/min. The actual flow rate delivered automatically adjusts to match the requirements of the connected equipment.

  • Compatible with any benchtop incubator on the market, including our BT37 and CT37stax benchtop incubators 
  • Equipped with a mixing tank to ensure the highest composition stability 
  • Several incubators can be attached to a single Tri-Gas Mixer
  • Single point for gas mix validation and calibration 
  • Compatible with humidified incubators 
  • Advanced safety routines, so that the incubators always receive the correct gas 

Find out more
Visit our website
Download our Tri-Gas Mixer brochure

Geoffrey Planer retires

Geoffrey Planer

At the end of December 2019, following the acquisition of Planer by Hamilton Thorne Limited earlier in the year, Geoffrey Planer retired from his role as Chairman.

During his 45 years at the helm, Geoffrey led Planer to become an industry market leader, regarded by many as the “go-to” company for scientific and technical expertise when developing a new product or technique. Over the years, Planer equipment has been used in many notable scientific firsts — in 1984, the first baby born from a frozen embryo used a Planer controlled rate freezer. More recently, our freezers have been used in the significant advances made in ovarian tissue freezing.

Today, thanks to Geoffrey’s leadership and expertise over the past four decades, Planer is now a global brand, excelling in the design, manufacture, supply and support of medical products in the assisted reproduction, stem cell and cryopreservation markets.

I am sure many of you will have come into contact with Geoffrey at some point and will remember his friendly, warm manner and smiling face whenever you met him, either in Sunbury or at one our meetings around the world. 

Geoffrey will be greatly missed by everybody at Planer: many of the team worked with him for over 20 years. At our recent Christmas lunch, we were delighted to have the opportunity to make a presentation as a small token of our appreciation and to thank him personally for his support and encouragement over the past years.

I am sure you will join us all in wishing Geoffrey well in his retirement. I know his wife Jan is looking forward to having him at home for dinner before 8:30pm every day.

Geoffrey, Good Luck — and a huge thank you from all your colleagues and friends around the world.

Adrian Fuller
Managing Director

Preservation of cellular therapies course

Currently 1.2 million patients are receiving treatment from regenerative medicine products produced by over 150 companies with a capital value of around $4.7 billion.  Most molecules, cells and tissues are collected at a given time and location for use at a later time. Therefore, our ability to stabilise biological properties (e.g. viability, biomarkers) during transportation and long-term storage is a critical technology.

"Preservation of cellular therapies" course 
The University of Minnesota Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR) will be running another of their successful "Preservation of cellular therapies" courses on 18th-19th May 2020. The programme will cover the fundamentals of preservation, protocol development, design of a storage facility, regulatory issues associated with preservation of cell therapies, clinical issues and more. Allison Hubel, (pictured here) PhD, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR, www.biocor.umn.edu), will be one of the programme lecturers.

Who should attend?
The course material is designed for those who have little experience with preservation, as well as those proficient in preservation who is interested in improving their practices. The preservation of cells has applications in the fields of recombinant cell biotechnology, cell banking, cell therapy, regenerative medicine and cell-based assays.

Lecture topics

  • Fundamentals of cryopreservation including mechanism of damage and strategies to prevent damaging cells during freezing, storage and warming
  • Step-by-step protocol development including methods by which to construct a new preservation protocol and debugging an old protocol that is no longer working well
  • Equipment, reagents and supplies used in preservation
  • The challenges in implementing preservation in a clinical/GMP environment
  • Fundamentals of quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) as well as application of the programme to preservation
  • Design and operation of a storage facility for cryopreserved cells
  • Regulatory issues associated with preservation of a therapeutic product
  • Emerging technology and approaches for the preservation of cells

Find out more
Preservation of cellular therapies" Course 18th-19th May 2020, Minnesota, USA

 

The LYKOS laser, designed for ART. Find out more at Fertility 2020

Lykos clinical laser for ARTWe are pleased to announce that Planer is now the UK distributor for the Hamilton Thorne Clinical and Research Laser Range, including the LYKOS laser. If you are going to Fertility 2020, do drop by Stand One, to find out more.

The LYKOS laser, with its Dynamic Targeting System (DTS), represents the next generation of clinical lasers for assisted reproductive technology:-

  • Compact and portable design
  • Computer-controlled accuracy
  • Designed for ease of use
  • Automated calibration
  • Built-in quality control reporting
  • Red-i target locator
  • Multipulse software mode

Designed for ART
The LYKOS laser, with its precise targeting features, automated calibration and built-in quality control reporting, provides computer-controlled accuracy and ease-of-use.

The automated initialisation process calibrates the system and can be run any time from the control panel. This initialisation process maps the position of the RED-i target in relation to the entire field of view to optimise accuracy.

Quality control is a vital part of laboratory procedure. The DTS positioning can be easily verified prior to use and the results of the verification saved. With the built-in quality control reporting, you can view the results of the daily verification in both numerical and graphical form. In addition, a Trend Chart lets you see the results over a selected period of time.

The RED-i target locator is visible both on the screen and through the microscope eyepieces. As well as being used to identify and calibrate the laser position under DTS mode, RED-i allows positioning of the cell under the laser beam without looking at the monitor. The target spot always remains in focus and has an adjustable brightness level.

Find out more
If you would like to find out more about the LYKOS laser at Fertility 2020, why not make an appointment in advance with the Planer sales team?  Just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Scientific Round Up

Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Scientific Round Up front coverOvarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation techniques are rapidly becoming an accepted path for fertility preservation of prepubescence girls and women that require cancer treatment that would otherwise leave them unable to have families of their own.

To date, more than 130 children worldwide have been born using this new technique with by far the majority of these successful outcomes resulting from tissue frozen using a slow freezing process in a controlled rate freezer.

In our recently published “Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Scientific Round-Up” two different procedures are described - the first outlines the work from a combined team from Singapore’s Sincere IVF and Gleneagles Hospital whilst the second gives an overview of the approach used by Belgium’s Université Catholique de Louvain.

The Background
Ovarian tissue freezing has been used clinically for fertility preservation in children, adolescents and adults with cancer since 2004, following the world’s first live birth using the cryopreservation and transplantation of ovarian tissue.

Whilst the procedure has been accepted in an increasing number of countries, it is still a relatively new procedure, within the area of assisted reproduction technologies.

Why use ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation?

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation represents a new technique to preserve fertility in women where these normal fertility preservation techniques are not an appropriate option.

Currently, embryo and oocyte cryopreservation are the only fertility preservation techniques considered by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine not to be classified as experimental. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why one of these approaches may not be appropriate for some patients:

  • Both embryo and oocyte cryopreservation require preparation and stimulation which can take several weeks to complete. This delay is often not possible or appropriate for females requiring urgent therapy.
  • Not all patients have partners with whom to create embryos for cryopreservation.
  • These techniques are not indicated for young and pre-pubertal female patients due to their inability to produce mature eggs.

For these patients, the possibility of cryopreservation of ovarian tissue (cortex) has become an urgent and highly-demanded technology.

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation does not require ovarian stimulation and offers a promising option for women at high risk of premature ovarian failure and sterility. Furthermore, transplanting ovarian tissue not only restores fertility but also restores endocrine function.

Slow freezing versus vitrification
Ovarian tissue freezing and transplantation, using a controlled rate freezer, has a number of advantages over vitrification. The automated process of a programmable freezer allows repeatability, with an auditable trail, hence reducing the risk of human error. Slow freezing also allows larger grafts of ovarian tissue, which could be important in improving success rates.

Download our Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Scientific Round-Up
To find out more about the combined team from Singapore’s Sincere IVF and Gleneagles Hospital and the Université Catholique de Louvain’s approaches, download our Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation and Transplantation Scientific Round-Up.

For further information
Ovarian tissue freezing
Successful oocyte retrieval and fertilisation after transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue
New ovarian tissue freezing programme
Cancer cells purged from human ovarian tissue fragments by pharmacological inhibition of YAP/TAZ oncoproteins 
First birth in Italy from cryopreserved ovarian tissue transplanted to a cancer patient
Increased follicle survival in frozen–thawed human ovarian tissue
First British woman gives birth after an ovarian tissue transplant
Unique birth from ovarian tissue frozen in 2001

UK Distributor for Gynemed Media Products – Find out more at Fertility 2020

Planer is now the UK Distributor of the Gynemed Media range, pictured here

We are delighted to announce that Planer is now the UK distributor for the Gynemed range of media products. If you are going to Fertility 2020, do drop by Stand One, to find out more.

The Fertility 2020 Conference, organised by the Association of Clinical Embryologists, British Fertility Society and the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, will take place in Edinburgh’s International Convention Centre from the 9th to the 11th January. The theme this year is “Reproduction in changing world” and will feature speakers from around the world, talking on fertility and reproductive biology.

Planer Ltd is now part of the Hamilton Thorne Group and we are now the UK distributor for the Hamilton Thorne Clinical and Research Laser Range, along with the Gynemed range of consumable and media products. 

While at the Conference, come and talk to the Planer team on Stand One to find out more about Gynemed Media, designed for:-

  • Oocyte handling
  • Embryo handling
  • Sperm processing
  • Cryopreservation
  • In-vitro diagnostics

If you would like to make an appointment in advance with the Planer sales team, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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