We Helped to Write the Book on Vitrification
By Mitchel C. Schiewe, Ph.D., HCLD, Lab Director, Ovation Fertility™ Newport Beach
European publisher InTech recently informed us that a book chapter I authored on vitrification quality-control practices for human embryos has had nearly 1,200 views and more than 220 downloads, most of them internationally, since last November. InTech reported statistics for the chapter, “Quality Control Factors Influencing Successful and Reliable Implementation of Oocyte and Embryo Vitrification,” as one of the two most requested chapters published in the book: Cryopreservation in Eukaryotes.
The “Recipe” for Vitrification Techniques
For us, it’s all about the quality-control factors in the vitrification process, a type of “flash freezing” of reproductive materials. When embryos are cryopreserved properly and stored safely, they can be confidently biopsied, genetically tested and later warmed when a single viable embryo is requested when the hopeful parents are ready to use them.
Based on the tremendous success of vitrification, it’s easy for people in our industry to treat procedures like a Betty Crocker cookbook – just follow the recipe and “voila.” However, that doesn’t teach people to keep in their minds all the various factors that help the process succeed overall, which is especially important when troubleshooting problems.
At Ovation Fertility, we believe that attention to the details, like proper and secure labeling, and the simple and safe handling of vitrification devices is of critical importance, often ignored by the industry. The goal is to optimize the overall reliability and repeatability of vitrification practices among trained technicians who work in various laboratories. The book chapter also helps labs identify the pros and cons of different vitrification systems, so lab professionals can evaluate devices to determine what is appropriate for them, outside of any commercial equipment companies’ influence to sell products. Otherwise, they could go down the “yellow brick road” sold to them for six to 12 months before realizing the liability of using the wrong device or system!
Confidence for Patients
For patients, an IVF lab that is highly focused on vitrification quality means having great confidence that the results they get are as good as they can possibly be. That’s why we literally have maintained greater than a 99.8% survival of biopsied blastocysts (since 2013) without any change in their viability.
Rapid Recognition of Vitrification Expertise
With so many downloads of the book chapter in such a short time, Ovation Fertility continues to globally expand its reputation for excellence in IVF processes. International biologists, who tend to have less access to scientific journals and subscriptions as compared to U.S. scientists, search online for keywords and topics in their field to learn of the latest advancements. With online/open access publications, we’re providing them access to the proper methods and factors to consider in their own vitrification procedures, which ultimately helps patients experience a more efficient, effective path to pregnancy.
For more information about Ovation Fertility’s industry-leading IVF services, visit ovationfertility.com.