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Ovarian tissue cryopreservation by stepped vitrification and monitored by X-ray computed tomography

Corral, Ariadna, Clavero, Macarena, Gallardo, Miguel, Balcerzyk, Marcin, Amorim, Christiani A., Parrado-Gallego, Ángel, Dolmans, Marie-Madeleine, Paulini, Fernanda, Morris, John, Risco, Ramón
Cryobiology 2018 v.81 pp. 17-26
animal ovaries, cattle, computed tomography, cooling, cryopreservation, females, immunohistochemistry, models, monitoring, patients, permeability, temperature, tissues, viability, viability assays, vitrification
Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is, in most cases, the only fertility preservation option available for female patients soon to undergo gonadotoxic treatment. To date, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue has been carried out by both traditional slow freezing method and vitrification, but even with the best techniques, there is still a considerable loss of follicle viability. In this report, we investigated a stepped cryopreservation procedure which combines features of slow cooling and vitrification (hereafter called stepped vitrification). Bovine ovarian tissue was used as a tissue model. Stepwise increments of the Me2SO concentration coupled with stepwise drops-in temperature in a device specifically designed for this purpose and X-ray computed tomography were combined to investigate loading times at each step, by monitoring the attenuation of the radiation proportional to Me2SO permeation. Viability analysis was performed in warmed tissues by immunohistochemistry. Although further viability tests should be conducted after transplantation, preliminary results are very promising. Four protocols were explored. Two of them showed a poor permeation of the vitrification solution (P1 and P2). The other two (P3 and P4), with higher permeation, were studied in deeper detail. Out of these two protocols, P4, with a longer permeation time at −40 °C, showed the same histological integrity after warming as fresh controls.