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Cryopreservation (Traditional Embryo Production):

The cryopreservation procedure takes approximately one hour and gradually decreases the temperature of the embryo to a point in which they are removed from the freezer and plunged into liquid nitrogen. The embryos are then stored in liquid nitrogen tanks; the same type of tank that is used for storing semen. The IETS has set guidelines that require each embryo transfer company to have a freeze code that is printed on the embryo straws. At RMRS our freeze code is 1574.

We utilize direct transfer at RMRS which means each embryo is placed into ethylene glycol, freezing media, then placed into individual straws. By freezing embryos in this manner they can be thawed and then transferred directly into a recipient cow.


Cryopreservation

The rate of the freezing process is vital to the cryopreservation of embryos. It is critical that the embryos freeze without forming ice crystals in the cell mass. If ice crystal formation happens then cracks within the cell mass can occur, killing the cells that make up the embryo.

After the embryos have been brought down to the appropriate temperature by the cryogenic freezer (shown above), they are plunged into liquid nitrogen and caned (shown below). The embryos will be stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are transferred into a recipient.

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