PG17: Cryobiology, Cryophysics And Quality Control Concerns Of Gamete, Embryo And Tissue Vitrification

Date:October 13, 2013

Time:8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Location:Room 260 - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Charles L. Bormann, Ph.D. (Chair), Brigham and Women's Hospital

Wayne A. Caswell, M.S., Fertility Centeres of New England

Joseph Conaghan, Ph.D., Pacific Fertility Center

Michael J. Tucker, Ph.D., Shady Grove Fertility RSC


Developed in Cooperation with the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists

Patient care

Vitrification (VTF) is rapidly becoming the cryopreservation method of choice for many in vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratories. Without careful preparation and training, the transition from a slow-rate freeze program to a vitrification program can be very challenging. Most demonstration and training in VTF techniques have come through workshops sponsored by industry, which may be biased toward a specific commercial medium and/or storage vessel. However, there are several media and vitrification vessels that can be used effectively within the IVF laboratory, each with potential strengths and weaknesses. Overview and training with various approaches are essential, especially with growing concerns over the safety of VTF solutions used, cryo-security, and accepting VTF eggs/embryos in unfamiliar VTF devices. We are entering a new era of cryobiology where we are faced with serious quality control challenges.

This workshop is geared primarily toward those who would like to implement and optimize VTF in their laboratory. This live course will provide a solid background in the theories and basic science that has led to the current state of VTF in human systems. We will demonstrate good tissue practices (GTPs) and discuss quality control concerns. Participants will have an opportunity to train on the most common commercially available VTF systems being utilized in the United States. Following hands-on experience, each participant will be able to compare and contrast commonly utilized VTF systems on the market.

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Explain the cryobiological/cryophysical principles behind VTF technology via a "hands-on" workshop and contrast VTF and standard slow-freeze preservation.
  2. Evaluate, demonstrate and practice various commercially available VTF systems and assess the pros and cons in establishing a VTF program.
  3. Describe the steps necessary to implement VTF in their laboratory (training, validation, and quality control).
  4. Discuss methods for optimizing and maintaining high success rates with VTF.


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