I.C.E. Vitrification System

We currently offer our large-volume vitrification system for the storage of oocytes, cleavage-stage embryos, and blastocysts. Please read the information below regarding our unique system and how to order.

Quality Control Testing

The I.C.E. vitrification & thaw media have been thoroughly tested, similar to any FDA approved culture media used in the IVF lab. We use several independent certified labs to do all of our QC testing. We also perform more rigorous testing of our media by including fungal, yeast, and mold tests. Furthermore, our mouse embryo assay (MEA) is not only a toxicity test, but also a functionality test, as mouse embryos are actually vitrified and thawed, rather than simply washed into and out of the media. Certificates of Analysis and MSDS are available upon request.

Good to know: We have tested media that was one year past its expiration date. It passed all of our testing with results similar to when it was first manufactured!

The I.C.E. Vitrification system was developed from the ground up. It started with the knowledge that slow-cooling is vitrification and therefore cells could be vitrified at slow or rapid rates of cooling. A simple storage device, the 0/25cc cryo-straw, was chosen as a storage vessel because it was inexpensive, sterile, sealable, and most everyone was familiar with using it in their slow-cooling programs. Others had tried to use 0.25cc straws and plunging into liquid nitrogen from room temperature, but the solutions they used did not allow for the relatively slow cooling rate (2000C/min) and their success was limited. Many investigators were using DMSO in their vitrification solutions because it is a good vitrificant and readily permeates cells. However, these solutions only worked when cooling rates were elevated to above 10,000C/min. Therefore minute volumes of <1ul were necessary and micro-volume devices such as the cryo-top, cryo-loop, cryo-tip, cryo-loc, etc. were used.

The success of our system lies in the cryo solutions that are used. Utilizing basic cryobiological principles and a variety of permeable and nonpermeable cryoprotectants Dr. Stachecki developed vitrification

solutions for oocytes, cleavage-stage embryos, and blastocysts.

The system does not use DMSO, mainly due to the toxicity problems associated with this good vitrificant. Because of this, the ICE vitrification system allows more time for dehydration and exposure to the solutions without the adverse toxic effects. The system therefore allows a simple sterile closed container to be used along with much longer exposure times (upwards of 4 minutes in the final vitrification solution). The versatility of the system also allows vitrification in micro-volume containers for those who have experience with and enjoy using these devices.

Originally the system was called "S3" or S3. This stood for "Simple, Safe, and Successful". We have modified and improved the formulation and protocols to such a degree that we feel a new name is appropriate. Today the system has been refined and improved even further. Many clinics worldwide use the system and many more are in the testing phase. The simplicity and ease of use make it a favorite choice of both experienced as well as entry level embryologists. Please contact us for more information on how to test the system in your lab.