Cryopreservation of human genetic material


Address for correspondence: Dr. Yoel Shufaro, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah University Hospital, POB 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Up-to-date cryopreservation is a central component of contemporary human-assisted reproduction and fertility preservation technologies. Presently, the preservation of seminal and testicular spermatozoa, embryos, and oocytes can be readily achieved with a high functional survival rate. Preservation of the ovarian cortex containing a greater number of female germ cells is an experimental procedure under extensive investigation in many centers. All these techniques are used for various purposes like optimization of assisted reproduction, provision of donor gametes, fertility preservation for cancer patients and aging women, and posthumous reproduction. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the various applications of gamete, embryo, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation and discuss their basic biological principles, practical applicability, and limitations.