Synchrotron x-ray diffraction to detect glass or ice formation in the vitrified bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes and morulae.

Anzar, M., Grochulski, P., and Bonnet, B. (2014). "Synchrotron x-ray diffraction to detect glass or ice formation in the vitrified bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes and morulae.", PLoS ONE, 9(12: e114801). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0114801  Access to full text

Abstract

Vitrification of bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) is not as successful as bovine embryos, due to oocyte's complex structure and chilling sensitivity. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction (SXRD), a powerful method to study crystal structure and phase changes, was used to detect the glass or ice formation in water, tissue culture medium (TCM)-199, vitrification solution 2 (VS2), and vitrified bovine COCs and morulae. Data revealed Debye's rings and peaks associated with the hexagonal ice crystals at 3.897, 3.635, 3.427, 2.610, 2.241, 1.912 and 1.878 Å in both water and TCM-199, whereas VS2 showed amorphous (glassy) appearance, at 102K (−171°C). An additional peak of sodium phosphate monobasic hydrate (NaH2PO4.H2O) crystals was observed at 2.064 Å in TCM-199 only. All ice and NaH2PO4.H2O peaks were detected in the non-vitrified (control) and vitrified COCs, except two ice peaks (3.145 and 2.655 Å) were absent in the vitrified COCs. The intensities of majority of ice peaks did not differ between the non-vitrified and vitrified COCs. The non-vitrified bovine morulae in TCM-199 demonstrated all ice- and NaH2PO4.H2O-associated Debye's rings and peaks, found in TCM-199 alone. There was no Debye's ring present in the vitrified morulae. In conclusion, SXRD is a powerful method to confirm the vitrifiability of a solution and to detect the glass or ice formation in vitrified cells and tissues. The vitrified bovine COCs exhibited the hexagonal ice crystals instead of glass formation whereas the bovine morulae underwent a typical vitrification.

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