Veterinary Quarterly, vol. 19, issue 3 (1997) pp. 135-138
This paper describes some of the effects of cryopreservation on living sperm, and some recent results for bull and boar semen. During freezing and thawing of semen, the sperm can be damaged by the rapid and dramatic changes in the physicochemical conditions during cooling and ice formation. The rate and extent of these changes, and their impact on the cells, are strongly affected by the cooling rate and the medium composition. For many species, including humans and several farm animals, the optimal cooling rate has been determined, sometimes in combination with the cryoprotectant concentration. Recent results indicate that the cryopreservation of bull semen at the AI station could be improved by using controlled freezing at a cooling rate of about 100 degrees C/min, and by changing the composition of the freezing medium. An interaction between glycerol concentration and cooling rate has been described for boar semen. Current cryopreservation methods for boar semen based on an optimal combinations of these two factors allow consistent sperm survival in the frozen semen of AI boars, with acceptable variation among boars. The fertility results for semen processed in this fashion seem to be adequate for special applications, such as export, or long-term storage.
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