A device that imitates the motion embryos feel in the body has been found to improve in vitro fertilisation (IVF) pregnancy rates, according to researchers at the University of Michigan in the US.

The device gently rocks embryos to imitate the motion that embryos experience in the body as they make their way down a woman’s fallopian tube to the uterus.

The device holds early-stage embryos in a thimble-sized funnel, the bottom of which is lined with microscopic channels that allow fresh nutrient-rich fluid to flow in and waste products out.

University of Michigan associate professor Shu Takayama said it is an effective way of producing better cells.

“By making the cells feel more at home, we get better cells, which is key to having better infertility treatment,” Takayama said.