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Shipping Vitrified Embryos – Should we be concerned about exposing very small volume specimens to nitrogen vapor temperatures and brief ambient conditions?

Movement of human and nonhuman cryopre- served gametes and embryos utilizing ‘dry’ nitrogen vapor shipping tanks is common practice. The shippers have traditionally been utilized to move specimens with larger volumes, e.g., vials, and straws, while the shippers have not been evaluated with respect to shipment of specimens that utilize very small volumes. There appears to have been little effort (in reference to published materials) to address the changes needed, if any, regarding handling and shipping of gametes and embryos that have been cryopreserved by rapid…

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