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Anim Reprod Sci. 2007 Jun;99(3-4):377-83. Epub 2006 Jun 23.

In-straw cryoprotectant dilution of IVP bovine blastocysts vitrified in hand-pulled glass micropipettes.

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Embryology and Biotechnology of Reproduction Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to determine the influence of two ethylene glycol-based vitrification solutions on in vitro and in vivo survival after in-straw cryoprotectant dilution of vitrified in vitro-produced bovine embryos. Day-7 expanded blastocysts were selected according to diameter (> or = 180 microm) and osmotic characteristics and randomly assigned to one of three groups (i) VSa: vitrification in 40% EG+17.1% SUC+0.1% PVA; (ii) VSb: vitrification in 20% EG+20% DMSO; (iii) control: non-vitrified embryos. Vitrification was performed in hand-pulled glass micropipettes (GMP) and cryoprotectant dilution in 0.25 ml straws after warming in a plastic tube. Embryo viability was assessed by re-expansion and hatching rates after 72 h of IVC and by pregnancy rates after direct transfer of vitrified embryos. No differences in re-expansion rates were observed between vitrified groups after 24 h in culture (VSa=84.5%; VSb=94.8%). However, fewer VSa embryos (55.2%, P<0.05) hatched after 72 h than the VSb (75.8%) and control embryos (80.0%). To evaluate in vivo viability, vitrified embryos (VSa=20; VSb=21) were warmed under field conditions and individually transferred to synchronous recipients. Pregnancy rates (day 60) were similar between groups (VSa=20%; VSb=19%). Greater hatching rates occurred after 72 h of IVC for EG+DMSO than EG+SUC+PVA vitrification solutions. However, using a GMP vitrification container and in-tube warming, both solutions provided similar pregnancy rates after the in-straw cryoprotectant dilution and direct embryo transfer.

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