Improvements in Egg Freezing Processes

Thawed Oocyte

The experimental label has been lifted from egg freezing because the recent advancements in technology and processes have allowed eggs to be safely frozen and thawed with a high degree of survival and success.  Two of the leaders in this area are California fertility doctor David Diaz, M.D., and Antoine La, ELD, with West Coast Fertility Centers .They have worked on developing techniques since the year 2000.

Since the 1950s, researchers had looked for ways to protect the very fragile egg from the stress of super-cooling and the toxicity of chemical solutions. Drs. Diaz and La focused on a protocol to successfully dehydrate cellular water from the egg and replace it with cryoprotectant solutions in order to shield the egg organelles from crystal formation and toxicity. They made changes to temperature settings, concentrations of solutions and limited time exposure to the chemicals.

To demonstrate the safety of the protocol, the researchers did a study that visualized the DNA in the egg's chromosomes and the egg's meiotic spindle apparatus, structures that are critical to normal cell division. They found that there was no ice crystal formation and no damage using the concentrations of chemicals found in their freezing and thawing solutions.

The researchers found the survival rate after egg thaw with these freezing solutions was very high at 91 percent.

November 2, 2012
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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