EGA Institute for Women's Health


Analysis of different cryoprotection protocols on spermatozoa for effective clinical implementation and long-term storage

Principal Supervisor: Joyce Harper

Subsidiary Supervisor: Helen O'Neill

Project Summary:

Sperm cells, like most cells of the body, contain DNA, and in all men there is a certain level of DNA damage. Long and short- term storage of sperm is essential for a number of couples. In particular, men undergoing chemotherapy will opt to freeze their sperm before the treatment. New efficient methods for freezing tissue have shown to be far more effective in the clinic. As of yet, this has been untested with sperm. While the effects of cryopreservation on cells are well documented, to date there is no agreement in the literature on whether or not cryopreservation affects sperm chromatin integrity or on the use of a unique and functional protocol for the freezing-thawing procedure. We hope that we can establish the best protocol for freezing sperm, causing the least DNA damage as possible and ensuring the highest quality of preservation.