The purpose of cryopreservation of mouse embryos is:

  • to protect against the loss of valuable strains through breeding failure, disease or genetic drift.
  • to eliminate the cost of maintaining mouse lines not actively in use.
  • to free up space for other mouse lines.
  • to facilitate future re-derivation.

Cryopreservation is currently restricted to FVB/N and C57BL/6N backgrounds. If other background strains are required, TCDM will need to test their viability. Approximately 300 embryos are collected and cryopreserved using a slow rate freezing method. Embryos are stored in straws submerged in liquid nitrogen, and divided between two tanks to prevent loss of lines in case of catastrophic failure. There is a yearly maintenance fee. The thaw-test is performed for embryos’ viability and fetus formation.The thawed embryos are transferred into pseudopregnant females. Upon completion of cryopreservation, we will notify you, and either return the males, or euthanize the remaining colony. Archiving of mouse stocks by cryopreservation of sperm has great potential, because it is simple, rapid and cheap. However, the number of motile sperm is reduced after cryopreservation / thawing. The best results are obtained from F1 hybrids. For further information, please contact TCDM.

Nina Messner, BSc.

Email: nina.messner(at)

Cryopreservation of mouse embryos and sperm