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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013 Mar;30(3):371-6. doi: 10.1007/s10815-012-9928-2. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

A closed system supports the developmental competence of human embryos after vitrification : Closed vitrification of human embryos.

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  • 1IVF Namba Clinic, Osaka, Japan.



Closed-system vitrification may enable the risk of contamination to be minimised. We performed three studies to compare the developmental competence of human embryos vitrified using either a closed vitrification system (CVS; Rapid-i®) or an open vitrification system (OVS; Cryo-top®).


The first study was performed in vitro using 66 zygotes previously vitrified at pronuclear stage. These were warmed and randomised 1:1 to revitrification using either the OVS or the CVS. After re-warming, embryo development and blastocyst cell number were assessed. For the second study, also performed in vitro, 60 vitrified-warmed blastocysts were randomised 1:1:1 into three groups (OVS or CVS revitrification, or no revitrification). The proportion of dead cells was assessed by staining. The third study was performed in vivo, using 263 high-grade blastocysts randomly assigned to vitrification using either the CVS (n = 100) or the OVS (n = 163). After warming, single blastocyst transfer was performed.


There were no differences between the CVS and the OVS in survival rate (100 % vs. 97 %), blastulation rate (96 h: 50 % vs. 50 %; 120 h: 68 % vs. 56 %), proportion of good blastocysts (96 h: 32 % vs. 22 %, 120 h: 47 % vs. 41 %), or mean number of cells (137 vs. 138). The proportion of dead cells in blastocysts re-vitrified by CVS (31 %) was similar to that for OVS (38 %) and non-revitrification (32 %). In vivo, the implantation rate for blastocysts vitrified using the CVS (54 %) was similar to that with the OVS (53 %).


Our studies consistently indicate that human embryos may be vitrified using a CVS without impairment of developmental competence.

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