Frozen Life

by Pankaj Talwar

Recently, the focus is shifting to the vitrification technique which involves ultrarapid cooling of the reproductive cells resulting in glass formation. A lot of researches are going on in development of ideal oocyte cryofreezing protocols. If perfected such technique would be an important technology to help unmarried women who are suffering from malignancy and require treatment. The book has covered these topics at length and would be ideal compendium for any ART manual. Written in a concise and systemic manner and readers can easily assimilate the subject and practise it. The main aim of cryopreservation for human oocytes and embryos is to reduce damage caused by intracellular/extracellular ice crystal formation. To achieve this, it is important to consider the behavior of intracellular water at subzero temperatures. Two basic techniques have been developed for reproductive cells cryopreservation: controlled slow-rate freezing protocols and rapid freezing protocols such as vitrification. These techniques may be applied to cryofreezing of oocytes, spermatozoa, embryos, genital tissue, umbilical cord blood cells and embryonic stem cells. All these techniques and protocols are thoroughly covered in this book. The protocols have been well elucidated and deliberated. The editor has covered the process of cryobiology step by step at length in the last section of the book. This book will help all the medical personnels working in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technologies and related specialties to understand the topic better and put it to practical use. Cryobiology is a rather interesting but complex subspecialty of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. This branch has been always considered as an appendage of ART and clinicians have been somewhat sceptical about accepting the concept of creating icecream babies. The protocols are easy but the physiology and thermodynamics of the procedure are not clear to majority of us. This scares us from accepting this technology. As the embryo culture conditions are improving, more number of embryos are available to the embryologist for cryofreezing. With advent of single embryo transfer, the Assisted Reproductive Technology centres have been encouraged to adopt cryobiology techniques in their day-to-day practice. The advent of oocyte freezing for fertility preservation along with the advances in the fields of ovarian tissue and testicular tissue banking has generated enormous interest in this field. Till date there has been a scare in minds of reproductive biologists who prefer fresh embryo transfer in the IVF cycles. Prior experiences with poor cryosurvival of the gametes and embryos and compromised implantation rates were not encouraging. Better protocols and development of less toxic cryoprotectant solutions have led to resurgence of the subspecialty which had taken backseat due to poor outcomes in past few years. Cryobiology has played pivotal role in cryopreservation of hematopoietic stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Reproductive biologists are slowly shifting the focus of research toward vitrification which is cheaper, quicker and easier technology. The aim of the book has been to bring together researchers, clinicians and embryologists on one platform to share their views on various aspects of cryobiology. A wealth of information pertaining to basics of cryobiology, thermodynamics of cryofreezing, cryoprotecants along with newer protocols for vitrification of embryos, oocytes, etc. have been thoroughly covered. The subject is vast and has been covered in 53 Chapters and Appendices. Some amount of repetition is unavoidable while compiling such monumental work.

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Book Detail

Editor Editor's Affiliation
1. Talwar Pankaj Trained in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Biology, Army Hospital (Research and Referral), Delhi Cantt-110010, India
ISBN 9788184486810
Speciality Obstetrics and Gynecology
DOI 10.5005/jp/books/10311
Edition 1/e
Publishing Year 2009
Pages 596
Book Type Professional


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