Oncofertility Vitrification Kit

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Cancer therapies have the unwanted side-effect of damaging ovarian tissue and prepubertal girls must have ovarian tissue cryopreserved to preserve their fertility. Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) researchers have developed a simple-to-use and inexpensive vitrification kit for better preservation of ovarian tissue, which allows for cryopreservation without ice formation and could improve fertility outcomes for prepubertal cancer patients. 

 Technology Overview

Although low temperature storage of embryos and oocytes are the preferred fertility preservation methods for cancer patients, these options are not available to prepubertal girls or those who require immediate treatment. For these patients, cryopreservation of intact ovarian tissue is the only option to preserve fertility. However, despite validation and demonstration of live births following this procedure, success rates for ovarian tissue cryopreservation remain low, pointing to an urgent need to further improve these protocols. The laboratory of Dr. Mary Zelinski has developed an oncofertility vitrification kit, to improve the preservation of ovarian tissue at ultra-low temperatures and potentially provide young cancer patients with better fertility preservation options. This kit consists of cooling and warming media, storage straws and a closed system protocol, as required for FDA approval. Validation of the kit and protocols including repeated demonstration of a lack of ice formation at cooling and warming, has been performed in nonhuman primate ovarian tissue and is ready for translation to women. Importantly, ovarian tissue from nonhuman primates vitrified using this protocol can resume ovarian hormone production and development of mature eggs after in vivo autotransplantation. Compared to other ovarian cryopreservation kits, this system has the advantage of using sealed straws, which are easy to use and inexpensive to produce. This system could enhance the offerings provided at cancer clinics, particularly to pediatric and adolescent patients, by offering an improved method of fertility preservation. 


Ting et al., “In vitro development of secondary follicles form cryopreserved rhesus macaque ovarian tissue after slow-rate freeze or vitrification.” Human Reproduction 26(2011):2461-2472. Link

Ting et al., “Synthetic polymers improve vitrification outcomes of macaque ovarian tissue as assessed by histological integrity and the in vitro development of secondary follicles.” Cryobiology 65(2012):1-11. Link

Ting et al., “Morphological and functional preservation of preantral follicles after vitrification of macaque ovarian tissue in a closed system.” Human Reproduction 28(2013):1267-1279. Link

 Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for partnering.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lukaesko
Technology Development Manager
Oregon Health & Science University
Mary Zelinski
Alison Ting
Steven Mullen
Gregory Fahy
Teresa Woodruff
Monica Laronda
Specimen Collection and Preservation
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