Embryo Cryopreservation

Comparison of Cryopreservation of Mouse Sperm vs Embryos

Sperm  Embryos
Advantage Cheaper to cryopreserve, requires only one day of work, requires only two males/line Embryos are frozen post fertilization, recovery to live offspring easier
Disadvantage Only freeze one gamete, revival through IVF (labor extensive and costly), must use wildtype females as egg donors Requires at least 8 females
# animals needed 2 males/line One heterozygous or homozygous breeder male and 8-16 weanling females
# days to complete One day One to two days
Cost $605/2 males $1010-$1700
  • Embryo cryopreservation is an efficient means of long-term storage of valuable strains.
  • Embryo cryopreservation works well for double and triple gene mutations on standard genetic backgrounds.
  • This service is available for both mice and rats.
  • Cheaper and easier recovery to live offspring.
  • Yearly storage fee depending on # samples stored.


Mouse embryo cryopreservation has the following steps:

  1. Contact Animal Models Core (animalmodels@biotech.wisc.edu) to discuss scheduling.
  2. Assessm of animal colony to assure one proven male and at least 8 weaned females are available for superovulation. GEAM may need close to 15 females to obtain good quality embryos for cryopreservation.
  3. GEAM will perform IVF and cryopreserve two-cell embryos.
  4. We recommend freezing 100-125 embryos if homozygous or 175-200 heterozygous embryos are preserved.
  5. Recovery of live animals by thawing and surgically transferring the frozen embryos into pseudopregnant recipients.
 Mouse Embryo Cryopreservation   UW Price
 1-5 donor females $1010
 6-10 donor females  $1160
 11-14 donor females  $1240