Sperm Cryopreservation


Mouse sperm can be stored in liquid nitrogen (−196°C) for a conceivably infinite period of time and then used to regenerate a colony of live animals. There are several advantages to banking sperm in LN2:

  • Provides “insurance” in case of animal loss due to breeding failure, pathogens, or natural disasters
  • Reduce cage costs when mice are no longer needed for experimental purposes
  • Reduce demand for limited animal housing space
  • Simplifies shipment of animals and avoids importation quarantines

Service Description

  • We will harvest sperm from a single male
  • Sperm/cryoprotectant suspension will be loaded into 21 straws
  • Twenty straws will be split between two separate LN2 tanks for long-term storage
  • The last straw will be thawed to assess survivability and motility of sperm
  • Our sperm cryopreservation protocol is based on Ostermeier et al, 2008

What You Need To Do

  • Contact the TRP to schedule a cryo session
  • Provide the TRP with a single healthy transgenic male
  • Ideally, the male should be a proven breeder between the ages of 8–16 weeks.

Some Things To Consider

  • The cost of sperm cryo is cheaper than embryo cryo, but the cost to rederive mice using frozen sperm (IVF) is more expensive than embryo implantation.
  • Cryopreserving haploid sperm may require more breeding of rederived mice compared to freezing diploid embryos.
  • Sperm cryo may not be suitable for some inbred strains or strains with multiple mutations.

Prices and Guarantees

  • Cryopreservations are charged on a per session basis. We will harvest and freeze sperm from 1 transgenic male per session.
  • A test straw will be thawed immediately after freezing in order to provide information on the survival and developmental potential of your stored samples. If we experience a failure as determined by an unusually low survival and/or motility, we will repeat the service at no additional charge.
  • Successful cryopreservation of sperm depends greatly upon the strain, transgenic mutations, age, breeding history, and health of the donor male.
  • Click here for current rates.

Reserve A Cryopreservation Session

To order a sperm cryopreservation session, go to our TRP Forms page. Fill out a “Request for Sperm Cryopreservation” form and e-mail it to Bob Hunter bhunter@uw.edu