Research

Testicular Tissue Freeze Preservation

Clinical freeze preservation of whole human testicular tissue: the practicality of pre-freeze in vitro culture (IVC) to optimize post-thaw sperm motility

Pub: Journal of Pregnancy and Reproduction 2017 Volume 1(4):4-4

Mitchel C. Schiewe, PhD1,2

Abstract: The clinical effectiveness of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has enabled testicular sperm processing and freezing to be a fertility preservation option for men. Our ART Lab has strived to simplify the pre-freeze and post-thaw processing procedures needed by Embryologists to isolate viable testicular sperm while optimizing fertilization and pregnancy outcomes using in vitro culture (IVC) of testicular tissue at 30ºC.

Objective: Effective and practical testicular tissue freeze preservation.

Methodology: Over a 2 year period, 40 adult men (24 to 62 years old; 84% vasovasostomy cases) were scheduled to have testicular tissue frozen at the California Cryobank. A retrospective analysis was performed to demonstrate the efficacy of our whole tissue freeze preservation/IVC methodology for cryobanking purposes. We assessed sperm motility patterns for up to 1 week and compared pre-freeze and post-thaw total and progressive sperm motility patterns, contrasting differences by ANOVA (p<0.05).

Results: Total and progressive motility of fresh sperm was elevated by +48 hours IVC, increasing to a peak mean of 52.1% at 96 hours IVC and progressive motility was sustained at 1 week IVC at levels similar to +48 hours. The delayed cryopreservation of testicular tissue after >48 hours IVC, yielded overt motility post-thaw in all cases following a brief equilibration period of the dispersed tubular contents at 37ºC.

Conclusion: Pre-freeze IVC and whole biopsy freeze preservation of testicular tissue is a highly effective approach, ensuring optimal post-thaw outcomes for future intracytoplasmic sperm injection use.

1 California Cryobank, Inc.; Reproductive Tissue Division; 11915 La Grange Ave.; Los Angeles, CA 90025
2 Ovation Fertility; ART Laboratory; 361 Hospital Rd, Suite 433; Newport Beach, CA 92663