Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics – October 2013, Volume 30, Issue 10, pp 1389-1393

The heat is on: room temperature affects laboratory equipment–an observational study

Julia M. Butler, Jane E. Johnson, William R. Boone (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Greenville Health System University Medical Group, 890 W. Faris Rd., Suite 470, Greenville, SC, USA)



To evaluate the effect of ambient room temperature on equipment typically used in in vitro fertilization (IVF).


We set the control temperature of the room to 20 °C (+/−0.3) and used CIMScan probes to record temperatures of the following equipment: six microscope heating stages, four incubators, five slide warmers and three heating blocks. We then increased the room temperature to 26 °C (+/−0.3) or decreased it to 17 °C (+/−0.3) and monitored the same equipment again. We wanted to determine what role, if any, changing room temperature has on equipment temperature fluctuation.


There was a direct relationship between room temperature and equipment temperature stability. When room temperature increased or decreased, equipment temperature reacted in a corresponding manner. Statistical differences between equipment were found when the room temperature changed. What is also noteworthy is that temperature of equipment responded within 5 min to a change in room temperature.


Clearly, it is necessary to be aware of the affect of room temperature on equipment when performing assisted reproductive procedures. Room and equipment temperatures should be monitored faithfully and adjusted as frequently as needed, so that consistent culture conditions can be maintained. If more stringent temperature control can be achieved, human assisted reproduction success rates may improve.


This research was submitted to the Faculty of Eastern Virginia Medical School in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences-Clinical Embryology and Andrology. Norfolk, Virginia May 2012.
Capsule Because modest changes in ambient air can affect surrounding equipment, it is necessary to be aware of room temperature when performing assisted reproductive procedures