Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.
Substances that provide protection against the harmful effects of freezing temperatures.
The process by which semen is kept viable outside of the organism from which it was derived (i.e., kept from decay by means of a chemical agent, cooling, or a fluid substitute that mimics the natural state within the organism).
A method of providing future reproductive opportunities before a medical treatment with known risk of loss of fertility. Typically reproductive organs or tissues (e.g., sperm, egg, embryos and ovarian or testicular tissues) are cryopreserved for future use before the medical treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation) begins.
A colorless, odorless, viscous dihydroxy alcohol. It has a sweet taste, but is poisonous if ingested. Ethylene glycol is the most important glycol commercially available and is manufactured on a large scale in the United States. It is used as an antifreeze and coolant, in hydraulic fluids, and in the manufacture of low-freezing dynamites and resins.
A highly polar organic liquid, that is used widely as a chemical solvent. Because of its ability to penetrate biological membranes, it is used as a vehicle for topical application of pharmaceuticals. It is also used to protect tissue during CRYOPRESERVATION. Dimethyl sulfoxide shows a range of pharmacological activity including analgesia and anti-inflammation.
Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.
Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.
Fertilization in Vitro
An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.
The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.
Centers for acquiring and storing semen.
Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
Clinical and laboratory techniques used to enhance fertility in humans and animals.
The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.
The quality of SEMEN, an indicator of male fertility, can be determined by semen volume, pH, sperm concentration (SPERM COUNT), total sperm number, sperm viability, sperm vigor (SPERM MOTILITY), normal sperm morphology, ACROSOME integrity, and the concentration of WHITE BLOOD CELLS.
The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.
A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.
Embryo Culture Techniques
The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.
An OOCYTE-containing structure in the cortex of the OVARY. The oocyte is enclosed by a layer of GRANULOSA CELLS providing a nourishing microenvironment (FOLLICULAR FLUID). The number and size of follicles vary depending on the age and reproductive state of the female. The growing follicles are divided into five stages: primary, secondary, tertiary, Graafian, and atretic. Follicular growth and steroidogenesis depend on the presence of GONADOTROPINS.
Derivatives of propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol). They are used as humectants and solvents in pharmaceutical preparations.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Cessation of ovarian function after MENARCHE but before the age of 40, without or with OVARIAN FOLLICLE depletion. It is characterized by the presence of OLIGOMENORRHEA or AMENORRHEA, elevated GONADOTROPINS, and low ESTRADIOL levels. It is a state of female HYPERGONADOTROPIC HYPOGONADISM. Etiologies include genetic defects, autoimmune processes, chemotherapy, radiation, and infections.
Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic
An assisted fertilization technique consisting of the microinjection of a single viable sperm into an extracted ovum. It is used principally to overcome low sperm count, low sperm motility, inability of sperm to penetrate the egg, or other conditions related to male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE).
The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.
The ratio of the number of conceptions (CONCEPTION) including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; and fetal losses, to the mean number of females of reproductive age in a population during a set time period.
Methods pertaining to the generation of new individuals, including techniques used in selective BREEDING, cloning (CLONING, ORGANISM), and assisted reproduction (REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, ASSISTED).
Inability to reproduce after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Reproductive sterility is permanent infertility.
Damages to the EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN or the FETUS before BIRTH. Damages can be caused by any factors including biological, chemical, or physical.
An organic amine proton acceptor. It is used in the synthesis of surface-active agents and pharmaceuticals; as an emulsifying agent for cosmetic creams and lotions, mineral oil and paraffin wax emulsions, as a biological buffer, and used as an alkalizer. (From Merck, 11th ed; Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p1424)
The thick, yellowish-white, viscid fluid secretion of male reproductive organs discharged upon ejaculation. In addition to reproductive organ secretions, it contains SPERMATOZOA and their nutrient plasma.
The solid substance formed by the FREEZING of water.
Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.
The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of SPERM HEAD. Acrosome, derived from LYSOSOMES, is a membrane-bound organelle that contains the required hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg in FERTILIZATION.
Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE). Inside the intact ZONA PELLUCIDA, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.
Cleavage Stage, Ovum
The earliest developmental stage of a fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) during which there are several mitotic divisions within the ZONA PELLUCIDA. Each cleavage or segmentation yields two BLASTOMERES of about half size of the parent cell. This cleavage stage generally covers the period up to 16-cell MORULA.
The emission of SEMEN to the exterior, resulting from the contraction of muscles surrounding the male internal urogenital ducts.
Below normal weather temperatures that may lead to serious health problems. Extreme cold is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people.
Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.
A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during FERTILIZATION.
Euploid male germ cells of an early stage of SPERMATOGENESIS, derived from prespermatogonia. With the onset of puberty, spermatogonia at the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubule proliferate by mitotic then meiotic divisions and give rise to the haploid SPERMATOCYTES.
Artificial introduction of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.
The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.
Organ Preservation Solutions
A condition of suboptimal concentration of SPERMATOZOA in the ejaculated SEMEN to ensure successful FERTILIZATION of an OVUM. In humans, oligospermia is defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.
The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.
An early embryo that is a compact mass of about 16 BLASTOMERES. It resembles a cluster of mulberries with two types of cells, outer cells and inner cells. Morula is the stage before BLASTULA in non-mammalian animals or a BLASTOCYST in mammals.
Tissue Culture Techniques
Tissue and Organ Harvesting
Process of using a rotating machine to generate centrifugal force to separate substances of different densities, remove moisture, or simulate gravitational effects. It employs a large motor-driven apparatus with a long arm, at the end of which human and animal subjects, biological specimens, or equipment can be revolved and rotated at various speeds to study gravitational effects. (From Websters, 10th ed; McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Single Embryo Transfer
The techniques used to select and/or place only one embryo from FERTILIZATION IN VITRO into the uterine cavity to establish a singleton pregnancy.
Biological Specimen Banks
Cell Membrane Permeability
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
A complication of OVULATION INDUCTION in infertility treatment. It is graded by the severity of symptoms which include OVARY enlargement, multiple OVARIAN FOLLICLES; OVARIAN CYSTS; ASCITES; and generalized EDEMA. The full-blown syndrome may lead to RENAL FAILURE, respiratory distress, and even DEATH. Increased capillary permeability is caused by the vasoactive substances, such as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS, secreted by the overly-stimulated OVARIES.