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Theriogenology. 2000 Jun;53(9):1817-26.

Comparison of open pulled straw (OPS) vs glass micropipette (GMP) vitrification in mouse blastocysts.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science, Sunchon National University, South Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of a glass micropipette (GMP) as a vessel for vitrification of mouse blastocysts, and to compare the post-thaw survival of these blastocysts with those cooled in open pulled straws (OPS). The GMP vessel permits higher freezing and warming rates than OPS due to the higher heat conductivity of glass and lower mass of the solution containing the embryos. Groups of 6 mouse blastocysts were sequentially placed into 2 vitrification solutions before being loaded into either the OPS or GMP vessels and immersed into LN2 within 20 to 25 sec. Post-thaw blastocysts were serially washed in 0.25 and 0.15 M sucrose in holding medium (HM) and modified human tubal fluid medium (mHTF), each for 5 min, and then cultured in mHTF supplemented with 10% FCS for 24 h. The rate of blastocyst re-expansion did not differ significantly for OPS (93.5%) and GMP (95.0%) methods (P<0.05). The hatching rate in OPS (88.7%) was similar to that in GMP (90.0%) but was lower than for the unvitrified control embryos (98.3%, P<0.05). To determine the optimal embryo population per GMP vessel, the pipettes were loaded with 2 to 10 embryos. The rate of blastocyst re-expansion after vitrification was significant for 2 to 4 embryos than for 6 to 10 embryos per vessel. In addition, the rate of blastocyst re-expansion was significantly lower if blastocysts were vitrified in the wide rather than the narrow portion of the micropipette (100 vs 87.5%; P<0.05) even when only 4 blastocysts were loaded per vessel. These results indicate that both vitrification vessels can provide high rates of embryo survival. However, the GMP vessel does not need a cap to protect the vessel from floating after immersion in LN2. The number and location of the embryos (narrow versus wide portion of capillary) were considered to be limiting factors to the viability of mouse embryos.

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