Design of Vitrification Machine
McDonald, Todd William
University of Kansas
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Cryopreservation of living cells and biological material by vitrification requires the expertise of a skilled lab technician and a large amount of time. Vitrification must be performed one sample at a time on tiny subjects, which makes for a tedious and unreliable process. Moreover, there is a lack of standardization in the methods for preparing cells and biological material for the vitrification process. The purpose of the Vitrification Machine is to greatly simplify the process by making it faster, more efficient, cheaper and more reliable. The machine will be capable of handling several subjects at a time and will completely automate the most tedious portions of the vitrification process. This ease of use will allow researchers to experiment with new vitrification preparation methods on a larger number of samples more quickly and reliably. The applications of the Vitrification Machine are wide, but it is specifically being developed to automate the vitrification of human oocytes and eventually embryos. Female patients diagnosed with diseases whose treatments are detrimental to the reproductive process (such as chemotherapy), can have their oocytes preserved for use after their treatment is complete. The automation of vitrification by the Vitrification Machine will make this process faster, more reliable, more affordable, and therefore more available to patients. There currently is no known product on the market that fills all these needs or has the potential to drive down the cost of this portion of the fertility preservation process. Since the Vitrification Machine will be useful to clinical In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) laboratories, animal science research and fertility specialists in both research and clinical settings, the market potential of the product is very large.
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