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Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Nov;19(5):700-7.

Aseptic vitrification of blastocysts from infertile patients, egg donors and after IVM.

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IVF Centers Prof. Zech, Bregenz, Austria.


During embryo vitrification, it is advisable that cooling and storage should occur in a carrier device in which there is complete separation of the embryos from liquid nitrogen to ensure asepsis. The consequence of a reduction in the cooling rate resulting from the heat-insulating barrier aseptic devices has to be counteracted by gradually increasing intracellular concentrations of cryoprotectants without inducing a toxic effect. Blastocysts originating from couples with male and/or female factor infertility (group 1) or from oocyte donors (group 2) or from in-vitro matured oocytes (group 3) were gradually exposed to increasing concentrations of dimethylsulphoxide/ethylene glycol (5/5%, 10/10% and 20/20%) before aseptic vitrification using a specially designed carrier (VitriSafe), a modification of the open hemi-straw plug device. A total of 120 aseptic vitrification/warming cycles were performed in group 1, 91 in group 2 and 22 in group 3. Survival rates before embryo transfer, ongoing pregnancy and implantation rates were as follows: for group 1, 73, 43 and 26%; for group 2, 88, 53 and 34%; and for group 3, 69, 50 and 38%, respectively. In spite of reduced cooling rates due to aseptic vitrification conditions, a three-step exposure to cryoprotectant solutions protects the embryos effectively from cryo-injuries and guaranties high survival rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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