Fundamental studies on ovarian tissue cryopreservation – interrogation of biological and physical factors causing cryo-injuries, their mitigation for better clinical translation.

Paul Hardiman (primary)
Institute for Women's Health
University College London
Rowland Fleck. (secondary)
Kings College London.


Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is used to preserve fertility in girls and women scheduled to receive chemo or radiotherapy.
The overall goals of this project are to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of tissue injury which occur during handling, freezing and thawing and based on this, develop novel protocols to preserve tissue viability. Established protocols will be compared with sucrose/propanediol, alginate encapsulation and vitrification, using robust molecular endpoints. Post transplant vascularisation and tissue integrity will be assessed using a chorioallantoic membrane model. This combination of expertise and facilities in cryobiology, ultrastructural imaging and reproductive science is unique in the UK.


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Gurruchaga H, Saenz Del Burgo L, Hernandez RM, Orive G, Selden C, Fuller B, Ciriza J, Pedraz JL. Advances in the slow freezing cryopreservation of microencapsulated cells.J Control Release. 2018 Jul 10;281:119-138.

Hervera A, De Virgiliis F, Palmisano I, Zhou L, Tantardini E, Kong G, Hutson T, Danzi MC, Perry RB, Santos CXC, Kapustin AN, Fleck RA, Del Río JA, Carroll T, Lemmon V, Bixby JL, Shah AM, Fainzilber M, Di Giovanni S. Reactive oxygen species regulate axonal regeneration through the release of exosomal NADPH oxidase 2 complexes into injured axons. Nat Cell Biol. 2018 Mar;20(3):307-319.

Isachenko V, Todorov P, Isachenko E, Rahimi G, Hanstein B, Salama M, Mallmann P, Tchorbanov A, Hardiman P, Getreu N, Merzenich M. Cryopreservation and xenografting of human ovarian fragments: medulla decreases the phosphatidylserine
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Morewood T, Getreu N, Fuller B, Morris J, Hardiman P. The effect of thawing protocols on follicle conservation in human ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Cryo Letters. 2017 Mar/Apr;38(2):137-144.
Newton, H., Aubard, Y., Rutherford, A., Sharma, V., Gosden, R., 1996. Low temperature storage and grafting of human ovarian tissue. Hum.Reprod. 11, 1487–1491.

Nowak-Sliwinska P, Segura T, Iruela-Arispe ML. The chicken chorioallantoic membrane model in biology, medicine and bioengineering. Angiogenesis. 2014;17(4):779–804.

Prathalingam NS, Holt WV, Revell SG, Mirczuk S, Fleck RA, Watson PF. Impact of antifreeze proteins and antifreeze glycoproteins on bovine sperm during freeze-thaw. Theriogenology. 2006 Nov;66(8):1894-900.

Stacey GN, Connon CJ, Coopman K, Dickson AJ, Fuller B, Hunt CJ, Kemp P, Kerby J, Man J, Matejtschuk P, Moore H, Morris J, Oreffo RO, Slater N, Ward S, Wiggins C, Zimmermann H. Preservation and stability of cell therapy products: recommendations from an expert workshop. Regen Med. 2017 Jul;12(5):553-564.

Yurchuk T, Petrushko M, Fuller B.Science of cryopreservation in reproductive medicine – Embryos and oocytes as exemplars. Early Hum Dev. 2018 Nov;126:6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2018.08.016.

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyStructural Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Image ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology