Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 9, pp 903–914 | Cite as

Cryopreservation of mammalian oocytes and embryos: current problems and future perspectives

  • Mahmoud Moussa
  • Juan Shu
  • XueHong Zhang
  • FanYi Zeng
Open Access


Cryopreservation techniques for mammalian oocytes and embryos have rapidly progressed during the past two decades, emphasizing their importance in various assisted reproductive technologies. Pregnancies and live births resulting from cryopreserved oocytes and embryos of several species including humans have provided proof of principle and led to the adoption of cryopreservation as an integral part of clinical in vitro fertilization. Considerable progress has been achieved in the development and application of the cryopreservation of mammalian oocytes and embryos, including preservation of the reproductive potential of patients who may become infertile, establishment of cryopreserved oocyte banks, and transport of oocytes and embryos internationally. However, the success rates are still far lower than those obtained with fresh oocytes and embryos, and there are still obstacles that need to be overcome. In this review, we address the major obstacles in the development of effective cryopreservation techniques. Such knowledge may help to eliminate these hurdles by revealing which aspects need improvement. Furthermore, this information may encourage further research by cryobiologists and increase the practical use of cryopreservation as a major part of assisted reproductive technologies for both humans and animal species.


cryopreservation mammals oocytes embryos cryoinjuries 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Moussa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Juan Shu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • XueHong Zhang
    • 5
  • FanYi Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics, Shanghai Children’s HospitalShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Science, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.The Key Lab of Embryo Molecular Biology, Ministry of Health, China, and Shanghai Lab of Embryo and Reproduction EngineeringShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Shanghai Tao Tao Transgenic Corp., LTDShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Department of Bioengineering, School of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  6. 6.Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

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