The cryoconservation facility's goal is to conserve strains in the form of embryos and sperm in order to guarantee their persistence for the originator and the scientific community as a whole. More than 900 mouse strains are currently conserved
This activity is expanding rapidly because of increasing user demand. The facility currently has a staff of 9 persons.
Sperm is frozen following a protocol adapted to the genetic background of animals, in order to facilitate the efficient recovery of live animals of each strain. Frozen sperm viability is tested by both In vitro fertilization and subsequent embryo transfer.
Embryos can be obtained by two distinct methods:
- Mating : the embryos are recovered by flushing the oviducts,resulting in 2 cell, 4-8 cell and morula-blastocysts stages.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF), resulting 2 cell stage embryos.
Regardless of the technique used (IVF or classic), the embryos harvested are selected before being placed into straws and frozen in 1-2 propanediol
according to the protocol published by Renard and Babinet in 1984
We use the technique of slow freezing using a programmable freezing device which allows a gradual cooling to -140 ° C, the straws are then stored at -196 ° C in nitrogen tankers (liquid or vapor). Archiving is carried out in two separate locations.
Thus, the lines are immediately accessible (in the form of straws of sperm or embryos) to researchers who request them. Live animals can be rederived by embryo transfer.
As a resut of the integration of TAAM within the IBiSA Resource Centre (Infrastructures in Health and Agronomy Biology), this facility offers a strong R & D section, and is currently participating in the development of advanced techniques: In vitro fertilization, sperm freezing of difficult genetic backgrounds...