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Successful recovery of motile and viable boar sperm after vitrification with different methods (pearls and mini straws) using sucrose as a cryoprotectant

Serrano-Albal, María, Aquilina, Marie-Claire, Zak, Louisa J, Ellis, Peter J.I., Griffin, Darren K. (2023) Successful recovery of motile and viable boar sperm after vitrification with different methods (pearls and mini straws) using sucrose as a cryoprotectant. Cryobiology, 113 . Article Number 104583. ISSN 0011-2240. (doi:10.1016/j.cryobiol.2023.104583) (KAR id:102694)


Vitrification of sperm by direct contact with liquid nitrogen is increasing in popularity as an alternative to conventional (slow) freezing. Although slow freezing is very challenging in boar sperm cryopreservation, this is currently the standard method used. We compared vitrification in “pearls” and in “mini straws” using the in vitro fertilization media Porcine Gamete Media with 0.3 M sucrose with the standard (slow) method used to preserve boar sperm. Both vitrification methods reduced the viability of the sperm sample more than slow freezing (42.2 ± 4.3% total motility and 71.4 ± 2.3% alive), however, both protocols allowed for the successful recovery of the sperm samples. By comparing two different methods of vitrification and two different methods of post-thaw preparation we were able to determine the optimal vitrification-thaw protocol for boar sperm. When comparing pearls and mini-straws, the smaller liquid volume associated with pearls had a positive effect on the survivability of the samples, reducing sperm DNA damage (1.2 ± 0.2% vs. 5.1 ± 0.1.7%) and preserving motility (26.15 ± 2.8% vs 9.39 ± 0.9%) after thawing. In conclusion, the pearl method was the most suitable of the vitrification techniques for use with boar sperm.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2023.104583
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Uncontrolled keywords: Sperm, Spermatozoa, Cryopreservation, Freezing, Slow freezing, Vitrification, Boar, Fertility
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (
Depositing User: Peter Ellis
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2023 15:20 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 01:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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