Automated human oocyte cryopreservation device

Year 2020
Project team Linda Griffith & Scott Manalis with Max Stockslager
Manual process uses delicate steps and is highly operator-dependent
Survival varies for oocytes after cryopreservation
Automation would standardize and boost reliability of process

Improving post-vitrification outcomes

Oocyte vitrification, or freezing eggs to preserve fertility, involves a highly trained human operator manually performing a series of delicate manipulations on the oocyte in order to successfully cryopreserve it. The sensitivity of the oocyte to the vitrification process makes the tolerance for error incredibly small, and the manual process is highly operator-dependent, resulting in hugely variable outcomes. Post-vitrification survival rates range anywhere from 85% at the best-equipped clinics to as low as 16.7%. Automation would improve outcomes and reduce costs. The project aims to design a fully automated oocyte vitrification system, capable of successfully repeating the vitrification process in a reliable and standardized fashion by removing all human intervention.

Haidong Feng presents “Automated platform for human oocyte cryopreservation” at IdeaStream 2022