Mouse embryo and spermatozoa cryopreservation

30 March - 02 April 2020
MRC Harwell Institute
Harwell, UK
Course cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic

Cryopreservation allows long-term storage of embryos and sperm, providing a convenient way to preserve, protect and transport mouse lines for use in research. At MRC Harwell, we have extensive experience of using cryopreservation techniques. This course enables us to share our expertise and help promote resource sharing across the wider scientific community. ​

The course has been designed to give animal technologists and researchers hands-on experience of the entire process: from sperm harvesting/freezing to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) recovery and embryo freezing, plus a demonstration of contemporary embryo transfer techniques. It runs over a period of four days, from 30 March to 2 April 2020, and is worth ten continuing professional development (CPD) points. It is led by MRC Harwell’s Frozen Embryo and Sperm Archive (FESA), part of the European Mutant Mouse Archive (EMMA), a collective effort by centres all across Europe to create a genetic archive for use by the international scientific community.

Course Structure

Day 1:
Participants learn how to freeze sperm in liquid nitrogen using plastic semen straws. While embryos can be stored ready to use, sperm cryopreservation has the advantage that, as long as you have enough oocytes for fertilisation, you can potentially recover over a thousand mice from the sperm of just one male.

Days 2 and 3:
Participants will thaw the sperm they froze the previous day and use it to gain experience of a straightforward and robust IVF procedure. Embryos generated by IVF will be frozen by vitrification. At the end of Day 2 everyone has the chance to get to know each other a little better at the course dinner.

Day 4:
Participants learn how to thaw the vitrified embryos and will see a demonstration of both surgical and non-surgical embryo transfer techniques. The course concludes with a final review and recap.

Details on Program and Registration:

INFRAFRONTIER partner MRC Harwell Institute is organizing this course in cooperation with the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA).

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