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1 October 2010 Cryopreservation of Embryos in Laboratory Species
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Cryopreservation of embryos is an important strategy for the conservation of species and valuable strains of laboratory species. Historically, in the mouse, the technical development of cryopreservation started with slow freezing methods in the 1970's, which was then followed by vitrification method developed in the 1980's. Vitrification is advantageous in its quickness and simplicity, because it does not need programmable controlled-rate freezing machines. Furthermore, the survivability of embryos recovered after vitrification is significantly improved by avoiding chilling injury and intra- and extra-cellular ice formation. Recently, a series of new vitrification methods using a minimal volume of cryopreservation agent (CPA) and extremely high osmolality CPAs have been developed. For laboratory rats and mice, there is a long history of embryo cryopreservation and huge numbers of embryos have been kept frozen in cryobanks. In contrast, the techniques have only recently been optimized for other laboratory animals, e.g., rabbits, Syrian hamsters, Mongolian gerbils and mastomys (African rodent). Besides safety in cryopreservation, simple transportation of vitrified embryos on dry ice has been a challenging issue. By using the extremely high osmolality CPAs, we are now examining the feasibility and effectiveness of a simple method for the transportation of vitrified embryos. Development of new cryopreservation methods for embryos of laboratory species should be an integral part of the technological logistics supporting the development of biomedical sciences.

Keiji Mochida and Atsuo Ogura "Cryopreservation of Embryos in Laboratory Species," Journal of Mammalian Ova Research 27(3), 87-92, (1 October 2010).
Received: 20 July 2010; Accepted: 1 July 2010; Published: 1 October 2010

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