Peroxides in mineral oil used for in vitro fertilization: defining limits of standard quality control assays

  • Phoebe M. Hughes
  • Dean E. Morbeck
  • Susan B. A. Hudson
  • Jolene R. Fredrickson
  • David L. Walker
  • Charles C. Coddington



To determine the relative sensitivities of the 1 and 2-cell mouse embryo assays (MEA) and the human sperm motility assay (HSMA) for peroxides in mineral oil. The effect of peroxide on blastocyst cell number and apoptosis was also studied.


One and two-cell MEA and HSMA were performed using mineral oil containing cumene hydroperoxide (CH).


The 1-cell MEA was twice as sensitive as the 2-cell MEA and 20-times more sensitive than the HSMA for CH in mineral oil. The sensitivity of the 1-cell MEA doubled when embryos were cultured individually versus group culture. CH decreased blastocyst cell number in a dose dependent manner.


Individually cultured 1-cell embryos had the highest sensitivity for peroxides in mineral oil. Current quality control assays, including group cultured murine embryos and human sperm motility, have limited sensitivity for peroxides in mineral oil and may not detect levels of peroxides that cause sub-lethal cellular damage.


Embryo culture Human sperm motility assay Mouse embryo assay Peroxide Mineral oil 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phoebe M. Hughes
    • 1
  • Dean E. Morbeck
    • 1
    • 2
  • Susan B. A. Hudson
    • 1
  • Jolene R. Fredrickson
    • 2
  • David L. Walker
    • 2
    • 3
  • Charles C. Coddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDivision of Reproductive Endocrinology and InfertilityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory MedicineDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and InfertilityRochesterUSA

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