To determine the survival rate of embryos after a devitrification process, two factors must be taken into account: the viability of the embryo and the tolerance to the process. In addition, it is very important to carry out compliance with which the processes were established in the protocols.
This makes it essential to know and understand what vitrification is in order to be able to talk about the survival rate.
The process of vitrification consists of performing the solidification of the cytoplasm by acquiring a viscous consistency, similar to glass. As a result, this process effectively prevents the formation of ice crystals, which could damage the cells and affect the viability of the embryo.
Specifically, what we are going to do is replace the water inside the cells, which causes the formation of crystals, with cryoprotective agents in specific concentrations, in addition to rapid cooling by immersing the embryos in liquid nitrogen.
The process of devitrification is the result of replacing the cryoprotection inside the cells with the cells' own water, which, at the right temperature, manages to reactivate the embryonic development.
There are several methodologies, protocols, and tools designed for embryo vitrification and devitrification. These processes represent important stress for the embryos, so it is necessary to follow the established protocols as strictly as possible, avoiding unnecessary manipulations.
The vitrification/devitrification of embryos present the disadvantage of their survival in comparison with the processes to which they are exposed. As in any assisted reproduction technique, there is a risk associated with the technique, that is, that the embryos do not survive the process or see their potential implantation for the achievement of pregnancy reduced. In this type of technique, this risk is very low (around 1-3% of embryos that do not survive devitrification) but it does exist and it is essential that patients are informed of this possibility.