Vitrification: Advancing Embryo Freezing Technology | Dr. Hakan Özörnek

Vitrification: Advancing Embryo Freezing Technology

What is vitrification?

Vitrification is the cutting-edge technique used in embryo freezing. The term "vitrification" in English means "freezing by turning into glass." In the vitrification technique, the rapid cooling of the cells is achieved by high-concentration freezing solutions, leading to the rapid formation of a solid glass-like surface around the cell.

Classical Embryo Freezing Method

The 'Classical Embryo Freezing Method,' the first technique applied to human cells, attempts to preserve cell viability by forming ice crystals around the cell during the slow and controlled freezing process. However, due to the trauma the embryo undergoes during this slow process, it may not be able to maintain its viability.


In the vitrification method, embryos are frozen 600 to 1000 times faster than the classical method, with over 95% of them maintaining their viability. This method increases the chances of successful pregnancy compared to the classical method.

Vitrification, which takes about 10 minutes for the freezing process, is much faster than the classical method, where embryo freezing can take up to 3 hours. One of the key factors in the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the health of the embryo to be transferred. The vitrification method, which rapidly preserves the structural integrity of the cell, carries a much higher success rate compared to the classical method, which can take up to 3 hours and may negatively affect cell viability.

Embryo Thawing Process

The success of the thawing process is as crucial as the success of vitrification. Thawing should be performed by an experienced team to minimize exposure to external factors. Every egg and embryo is of great importance in the infertility treatment process, and minimizing losses is crucial.

Embryo Freezing and Technology

One of the most crucial factors determining the success of fertility centers is having an embryology laboratory that utilizes state-of-the-art technology with a highly competent team. Especially in cases where a limited number of eggs and embryos are processed, the expertise and experience of the individuals performing the freezing and thawing processes are of paramount importance. The high pregnancy rates and success are only achieved when the laboratory's technical capabilities and technology are competently utilized by an experienced team. In the treatment of infertility, each egg and embryo is crucial, and the loss should be minimized.

Embryo freezing is a frequently employed method in assisted reproductive techniques. Embryos that have not been transferred to the prospective mother are frozen and stored to preserve the chance of pregnancy later on.

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Embryos obtained by fertilizing eggs from the prospective mother and sperm from the prospective father in the laboratory are preserved in liquid nitrogen tanks at -196 degrees Celsius.

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