Volume changes of mature human oocytes on exposure to cryoprotectant solutions used in slow cooling procedures

S. J. Paynter, A. Borini, V. Bianchi, L. De Santis, C. Flamigni, G. Coticchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite the recent increase in pregnancies from cryopreserved human oocytes, success in terms of births per thawed oocyte is still poor. Modifications to cryopreservation protocols have not been based on measurement of the osmotic response of oocytes, and methodologies are often poorly described or protocols not strictly adhered to, inevitably resulting in variability. Methods: Volume change of mature human oocytes was measured on exposure to cryoprotectant. Oocytes were exposed to either 0.75 mol/l propane-1,2-diol (PrOH) for 10 min; 1.5 mol/l PrOH for 10 min, having been exposed to 0.75 mol/l PrOH for 7.5 min; or 1.5 mol/l PrOH plus 0.2 or 0.3 mol/l sucrose for 10 min, having been exposed to 1.5 mol/l PrOH for 10 min. Results: On exposure to PrOH alone, oocytes shrank and then re-expanded, having reached 75 and 84% of their starting volume in 0.75 and 1.5 mol/l, respectively. Oocytes shrank continuously in PrOH plus sucrose, reaching 67 or 55% of their initial volume in 0.2 or 0.3 mol/l sucrose, respectively. Conclusions: To improve consistency following cryopreservation, protocols must be strictly adhered to; small changes in duration of exposure to cryoprotectant can result in drastic changes in cellular hydration and thus the fate of the cell during freezing/thawing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1194-1199
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • Cryopreservation
  • Cryoprotectant
  • Oocyte
  • Permeability
  • Propane-1,2-diol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Physiology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Volume changes of mature human oocytes on exposure to cryoprotectant solutions used in slow cooling procedures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this