Korean J Reprod Med.  2010 Dec;37(4):267-291.

Cryopreservation of Oocytes and Embryos by Vitrification

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea. htl3675@konkuk.ac.kr
  • 2Bio-Organ Research Center/Animal Resources Research Center, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Life can be kept in suspended animation either before fertilization at oocyte stage or after fertilization at different stages of embryonic development for a variety of reasons. It not only has potential applications in fertility preservation and management in human but also has important roles in the preservation and management of animal genetic resources, low-cost international movement of selected genetics, and rapid dissemination of germplasm through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and genetic engineering. Currently, slow-freezing and vitrification are the two approaches by which oocytes and embryos can be cryopreserved for long-term storage. Both of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages but allow the cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos with comparable efficiency. Vitrification of oocyte and embryos, although proven successful just 13 years after slow-freezing, is generally considered an emerging technology and appears to slow gain acceptance in both animal and human ART despite having controversial storage and contamination issues. In this manuscript, we discuss the basic techniques of oocyte/embryo cryopreservation and review the current status and recent developments in vitrification.

Keyword

Oocytes; Embryos; Vitrification; Cryopreservation

MeSH Terms

Animals
Cryopreservation
Embryonic Development
Embryonic Structures
Female
Fertility Preservation
Fertilization
Genetic Engineering
Humans
Oocytes
Pregnancy
Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
Vitrification
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