Successful cryopreservation of expanded equine blastocysts. Academic Article uri icon


  • Effective cryopreservation of expanded equine blastocysts (> 300 m in diameter) has been difficult, perhaps due to the volume of blastocoele fluid or the presence of the equine embryonic capsule. Recently, we reported normal viability of equine embryos after trophoblast biopsy, which resulted in blastocyst collapse. The present study addressed the effect of biopsy and resultant breach of the capsule and blastocyst collapse on survival of expanded equine blastocysts after vitrification. First, non-biopsied, small embryos (< 300 m) were vitrified in fine-diameter microloader pipette tips using dimethylsulfoxide-containing medium (DM) or ethylene glycol-containing medium (EG). A third group was vitrified with EG, but was warmed using sucrose (EG/s). Embryos in the DM and EG/s treatments grew in culture after vitrification, and established pregnancies after transfer (3 of 12 and 3 of 6, respectively). Expanded blastocysts 300-730 m in diameter were then biopsied and vitrified; rates of normal pregnancy (detection of embryonic heartbeat) after warming and transfer were 2 of 16 (13%) and 6 of 13 (46%) for DM and EG/s treatments, respectively (P = 0.05). Within the EG/s treatment, it appeared that greater loss of blastocoele fluid after biopsy was associated with higher survival. Therefore, an altered ("Central") biopsy technique was used to aspirate blastocoele fluid, followed by vitrification in EG/s. Pregnancy rates were 1 of 8 (13%) for embryos cultured after warming and 4 of 7 (57%) for embryos transferred immediately after warming (P = 0.1). Finally, expanded blastocysts 407 to 565 m in diameter were biopsied from the periphery, and blastocoele fluid was removed with gentle suction. After vitrification with EG/s, this resulted in a rate of normal pregnancy of 5 of 7 (71%). These findings demonstrated that blastocoele collapse and vitrification in fine-diameter pipettes allowed successful cryopreservation of expanded equine blastocysts.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, Y. H., Velez, I. C., Riera, F. L., Roldn, J. E., Hartman, D. L., Bliss, S. B., ... Hinrichs, K.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Choi, YH||Velez, IC||Riera, FL||Roldán, JE||Hartman, DL||Bliss, SB||Blanchard, TL||Hayden, SS||Hinrichs, K

publication date

  • January 2011