Cryopreservation of Mammalian Oocytes
Two methods for the laboratory-focused cryopreservation of mammalian oocytes are described, based on work with murine oocytes. One method uses a relatively low concentration of the cryoprotectant propanediol plus sucrose and requires controlled rate cooling equipment to achieve a slow cooling rate. Such a method has also produced live births from cryopreserved human oocytes. The second method described employs a high concentration of the cryoprotectant dimethyl sulfoxide plus a low concentration of polyethylene glycol. This is a vitrification method which involves ultrarapid cooling by plunging standard straws into liquid nitrogen vapor, hence avoiding the need for specialized equipment, but requires technical ability to manipulate the oocytes quickly in the highly concentrated cryoprotectant solutions. Murine oocytes vitrified using this technique has resulted in live births.
Key wordsOocyte Slow-cooling Vitrification Murine Human
We would like to gratefully acknowledge the significant role played by Dr Sharon Paynter, who as a collaborator over many years developed the practical aspects of the two methods described in this chapter.
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