This egg freezing video illustrates the egg vitrification process. Eggs are frozen by “fast freeze” or vitrification. As the technology for egg freezing was being developed, the greatest barrier to high survival rates of freezing eggs was the water content of eggs. Ice crystals which formed during the freezing process could potentially fracture the eggs during either the steps of freezing or thawing.
Vitrification quickly freezes eggs in glass-like states thus avoiding the formation of ice crystals.
Each egg is subjected to intra-cellular water replacement by cryoprotectants prior to vitrification. At California Fertility Partners, this process is optimized through a computer-controlled device where high osmolarity cryoprotectant replaces water with minimal negative osmotic effects on eggs. The more gradual osmotic changes induced by the loading/unloading of cryoprotectants results in a gentler, more precise freezing protocol. During these transitions, the egg appears to first shrink as the water is drawn out. The egg then re-expands as the cryoprotectant enters the egg in a physiologically stable amount. This is critical for vitrification when highly concentrated cryoprotectant is employed.
Our vitrification protocol is the first automated vitrification platform in the world for egg cryopreservation. The innovative procedures utilized at California Fertility Partners result in consistent and reproducible outcomes in our frozen eggs.