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Research Article

Vitrification of mouse embryo-derived ICM cells: a tool for preserving embryonic stem cell potential?


PurposeVitrification technology presents new opportunities for preservation of embryo derived stem cells without first establishing a viable ESC line. This study tests the feasibility of cryopreserving ICM cells using vitrification.Materials and MethodsICMs from mouse embryos were isolated and vitrified in HSV straws or on cryoloops. Upon warming, the vitrified ICMs were cultured and observed for attachment and morphology. Colonies were passaged every 3–6 days. ICMs and ICM-derived ESC colonies were tested for expression of stem cell specific markers.ResultsICMs vitrified on both the cryoloop and the HSV straw had high survival rates. ICM derived ESCs remained undifferentiated for several passages and demonstrated expression of typical stem cell markers; SSEA-1, Sox-2, Oct 4 and alkaline phosphatase.ConclusionThis is the first report on successful vitrification of isolated ICMs and the subsequent derivation of ESC colonies. Vitrification of isolated ICMs is a novel approach for preservation of the “stem cell source” material.