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Cryopreservation of sperm and testicular tissue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Ri-Cheng Chian
Affiliation:
McGill University, Montréal
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Summary

Sperm cryopreservation is a widely used and established method in humans, animals, fish, and insects. In humans, sperm cryopreservation is a widely used technique in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and fertility preservation in patients with cancer. Sperm cryopreservation describes a complex multistep process for preserving male gametes. The process involves collecting a sperm sample, then gradually cooling the sample in the presence of a cryoprotective agent, followed by storage of the sample for future use. Cryoprotectants such as glycerol revolutionized cryopreservation techniques and paved the way for storing sperm samples for up to several years. As new cryoprotectants were discovered, the main issue was the degree of protection that they could provide for a sperm from damage caused by rapid freezing. Future studies are expected to concentrate on advancing technology to achieve the goal of damage-free sperm after cryopreservation.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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