Catastrophes: How do they impact our current perspectives on embryo production, cryopreservation and cryostorage management?
International IVF Initiative,
01 September 2020

Tuesday 1 September, 2020. 8PM GMT / 9PM CET / 3PM EST
Moderators: Kimball Pomeroy, PhD and Dawn Kelk, PhD

"Cryostorage of Reproductive Tissues in the IVF Laboratory: ASRM Committee Opinion"
Sangita Jindal, PhD, HCLD
Summary: Catastrophic tank failures in recent years have reinforced the importance of cryogenic management in our embryo production laboratories. Based upon scientific principles and laboratory experience, best practices/minimal standards for safe and reliable storage of cryopreserved reproductive tissue have been proposed. Considering the emphasis in embryo vitrification and fertility preservation in the field of Reproductive Medicine, our goals are to optimize cryo-viability and effectively mitigate and eliminate embryo/gamete risks associated with cryopreservation and cryostorage.

"Cryopreservation and IVF in the Time of Covid-19: What is the Best Good Tissue Practice (GTP)?"
Mitchel C. Schiewe, MS, PhD, HCLD 
Unknown risks relating to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and sperm, ova and embryos necessitate a reexamining of how human IVF is performed. Over the last decade improvements in cryosurvival and live birth outcomes have been associated with zona pellucida breaching procedures (e.g., blastocyst collapsing and biopsying). In turn, today embryos are generally no longer protected by an intact zona pellucida when vitrified and in cryostorage. Additionally, high security storage containers have proven to be resilient to potential cross-contamination and reliable for routine human sperm freezing and embryo vitrification. 

Several options to current IVF practices are presented that can effectively mitigate the risks of cross-contamination and infection due to the current Covid-19 pandemic or other viral exposures. The question remains, is heightened security and change warranted where the risks of disease transmission likely remains negligible.

Organized by the SRBT


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