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Differential sucrose concentration during dehydration (0.2 mol/l) and rehydration (0.3 mol/l) increases the implantation rate of frozen human oocytes

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      Abstract

      Novel protocols have increased survival and fertilization rates of cryopreserved oocytes. Nevertheless, in most cases clinical experiences have been disappointing or contradictory. Human oocytes of 141 patients were cryopreserved using a modified slow-cooling protocol involving 1.5 mol/l propane-1,2-diol (PrOH) and 0.2 mol/l sucrose during dehydration, while rehydration was conducted applying decreasing concentrations of PrOH and 0.3 mol/l sucrose. One thousand and eighty-three oocytes were frozen and 403 were thawed, with a survival rate of 75.9%. Among the 306 surviving oocytes, 252 were microinjected and 192 (76.2%) showed two pronuclei. One hundred and eighty zygotes (93.8%) cleaved. The proportion of good quality embryos (grade I and II) was 86.2%. All embryos were transferred and 17 clinical pregnancies were obtained. Pregnancy rates were 21.3% per transfer, 21.8% per patient, and 18.9% per thawing cycle. The implantation rate was 13.5% while the miscarriage rate was 11.8%. To date, four babies have been delivered, while the remaining pregnancies are ongoing. Increased oocyte survival rates can be achieved by moderately high sucrose concentrations in the freezing and thawing solutions. This also ensures elevated success rates in terms of fertilization, embryo development and clinical outcome.

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      Biography

      Veronica Bianchi's first degree was in Clinical Biology (2000) and her specialization was in Genetics (2003), both obtained from the University of Bologna, Italy. During her training, she spent 4 years working at the S. Orsola Hospital IVF lab in Bologna, and in 2002 she joined the Tecnobios Procreazione team in Bologna. Dr Bianchi has published several papers that have significantly contributed to the oocyte cryopreservation field. Current interests include oocyte cryobiology and genetic underpinning of female infertility. Dr Bianchi currently carries a joint appointment as research fellow at Yale University (Yale Fertility Centre), USA and Tecnobios Procreazione.