A closed system supports the developmental competence of human embryos after vitrification
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Closed-system vitrification may enable the risk of contamination to be minimised. We performed three studies to compare the developmental competence of human embryos vitrified using either a closed vitrification system (CVS; Rapid-i®) or an open vitrification system (OVS; Cryo-top®).
The first study was performed in vitro using 66 zygotes previously vitrified at pronuclear stage. These were warmed and randomised 1:1 to revitrification using either the OVS or the CVS. After re-warming, embryo development and blastocyst cell number were assessed. For the second study, also performed in vitro, 60 vitrified–warmed blastocysts were randomised 1:1:1 into three groups (OVS or CVS revitrification, or no revitrification). The proportion of dead cells was assessed by staining. The third study was performed in vivo, using 263 high-grade blastocysts randomly assigned to vitrification using either the CVS (n = 100) or the OVS (n = 163). After warming, single blastocyst transfer was performed.
There were no differences between the CVS and the OVS in survival rate (100 % vs. 97 %), blastulation rate (96 h: 50 % vs. 50 %; 120 h: 68 % vs. 56 %), proportion of good blastocysts (96 h: 32 % vs. 22 %, 120 h: 47 % vs. 41 %), or mean number of cells (137 vs. 138). The proportion of dead cells in blastocysts re-vitrified by CVS (31 %) was similar to that for OVS (38 %) and non-revitrification (32 %). In vivo, the implantation rate for blastocysts vitrified using the CVS (54 %) was similar to that with the OVS (53 %).
Our studies consistently indicate that human embryos may be vitrified using a CVS without impairment of developmental competence.
KeywordsClosed vitrification system Human Embryo Blastocyst
The authors thank Drs. Keijiro Ito, Tomoko Inoue, Kazuhiro Saeki, and Nobuhiro Kato, and Ms. Yoshie Akamatsu for their technical support and valuable suggestions.
Part of this work was supported by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JPS-RFTF 23580397 to S.H.).
Conflict of interest
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