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Sperm Cryopreservation

Sperm Cryopreservation



Cryopreserving your strain is an essential part of any colony management plan. It is a cost effective way to ensure your research project is not lost due to natural disaster, genetic drift, genetic contamination or disease.  It can also be a way of saving cage costs on maintaining low use colonies.

The APB has 2 cryopreservation laboratories.  One at the Australian National University, Canberra and the other at Monash University, Melbourne.  Both nodes of the APB use the same techniques for cryopreservation and reanimation services.  We use the most up to date and effective techniques available and are constantly working to provide Australian researchers with the the same quality services that area available accross the world.

Acceptance of requests to cryopreserve and store strains is determined by the Scientific Advisory and Access Committee of the APN. Unique strains and strains with high value to the community will be given preference.

Mouse Requirements

5 male mice, 10-16 weeks of age are required.  This is considered by the APB to be the optimal age for sperm cryopreservation.  Experimental data indicates that IVF rates drop from ~80% between 10-16 weeks* to ~70% for mice aged 8 weeks.

Older mice may be cryopreserved depending upon the onset of reproductive decline. Please note sperm concentration and quality may decline in older animals.

If poor quality sperm is observed from 2 or more mice we will request that further mice be submitted for archiving.

* one 12 week male used was sterile which resulted in a reduced rate for the 12 week group.


All 5 mice do not need to be sent at the same time.  Multiple shipments can be accomodated.  You will only be charged one service fee per strain.

All mice submitted to the APB for cryopreservation receive a unique barcode.  Sperm from each animal is frozen separately into 11 straws (not pooled).


All samples cryopreserved by the APB are stored in duplicate. Half of the straws for each mouse are stored at each facility.

Our liquid nitrogen vapour phase tanks are held in secure facilities and are filled automatically.  They are monitored around the clock by building management and alarm system that notifies university security of any problems. 

Quality Assurance

A microscope analysis of each sample is performed as part of the cryopreservation service.  Sperm are thawed into IVF sperm media and scored for their concentration, motility, progressive motility and for the level of gross morphological defects.  The purpose of the analysis is to determine whether enough mice have been frozen that are of an acceptable quality and to identify which sample would be the best candidate for IVF when the strain requires reanimation

This analysis does not give an IVF rate and cannot guarantee that the strain can be recovered in the future. A reanimation test can be performed at a cost.

IVF is performed regularly by stoff of the APB. Reanimation data can be viewed here.

Submitting mice for Sperm Cryopreservation

Please have the following items ready in order to complete the form:

  1. Details of the main contact
  2. Animal facility of where the strain is housed
  3. Person responsible for submitting health reports/packing and shipment of mice
If the strain cannot be found in our database or if your strain has restricted access, then the following additional items are required:
  1. Strain name
  2. Researcher details

For more information on how to submit the information to the database visit our Getting Started page





Cryopreservation process:

Click on the flow chart below to view how your request is processed:


If you know the strain exists in our database and you would like to submit mice for Sperm Cryopreservation then Find your strain

If you know the strain has restricted access or if you cannot find the strain in our database then Click here





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