Many clinical circumstances impose the necessity of collection and prolonged storage of gametes and/or ovarian tissue in order to preserve the reproduction potential of subjects. This is particularly appropriate in the case of young women and pre-pubertal girls undergoing chemotherapeutic treatments. The success of later assisted fertilization will depend on the suitable cooling protocols minimizing cryo-damages and preserving their biological function. The freeze-thaw processes of cryopreservation may induce, in fact, morphological and structural damages of oocytes and tissue mainly due to the formation of intracellular ice and to the toxicity of cryoprotectant. The most used cryo-protocol is the slow freezing procedure, but recently many authors have proposed vitrification as an alternative, because of its simplicity. The damage extent and the quality of follicles after cryopreservation are usually evaluated morphologically by conventional histological procedures, light and electron microscopy. Our laboratory, to further improve the evaluation and to better investigate damages, is adopting a combination of Synchrotron soft X-ray Microscopy (at TwinMic-Elettra) and XRF at different incident energies (at TwinMic-Elettra and ID21-ESRF). X-ray techniques were performed on histological sections at micro and sub-micron resolution. Phase contrast and absorption images revealed changes in the compactness of the tissues, as well as cellular abnormalities revealed at sub-micrometric resolution. The distributions of the elements detected at 7.3 and 1.5 keV were compared and particularly Cl resulted to be indicative of follicle integrity. The results demonstrate the utility and the potential of X-ray microscopy and fluorescence in this research field.
- Imaging spectroscopy
- X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mathematical Physics