Fertility preservation without freezing: Microwave-assisted dehydration, storage, and rehydration of germinal vesicles

Experimental Methods and Techniques in Reproduction Webinar Series

Germinal vesicles (GVs) are alternative targets for female fertility preservation due to their availability and high resilience against non-physiological conditions. Dry-preservation strategies allow sample storage at non-freezing temperatures, offering a cost-effective alternative to cryopreservation. In this webinar, we provide the latest protocol involving GV oocyte collection, protectant loading, microwave drying, storage, and rehydration, in the domestic cat model. We hope to inspire more research to accelerate the development of an efficient preservation technique and encourage adaptations of the method to other species.


Pei-Chih Lee, PhD

Pei-Chih Lee is a research biologist at the Center for Species Survival in Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Lee earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology and Master of Science in molecular medicine from National Taiwan University. She earned her doctorate in molecular biosciences from Northwestern University. She joined the Smithsonian in 2012, where she works on both basic and applied reproductive biology with focus on feline species. Her research seeks to develop and apply latest biotechnologies to reproductive studies and genome resource banking of rare and endangered species. Using the domestic cat model, she is developing a more economical preservation technique that allows gametes and other cells to be stored without the need of liquid nitrogen.

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