Scientists 'freeze-dry eggs' for storage for the first time
Scientists believe that they have developed a way of freeze-drying powdered eggs for use in IVF.
According to the team at Israeli cryopreservation company Core Dynamics, this means the eggs can then be kept at room temperature in sealed sachets, before water is added to them prior to their use in fertility treatments.
Existing methods of IVF require eggs to be stored in liquid nitrogen and they can be rendered useless if allowed to defrost or power is lost.
Lead developer Dr Amir Arav said: "I believe the future of fertility preservation will be a simple 'on shelf' preservation."
New Scientist Magazine reports that so far the company has used the technique - which works by soaking eggs in a sugar-rich liquid then freezing them to -200C in less than a second - to freeze-dry 30 cow eggs.
Claus Andersen of the University Hospital of Copenhagen in Denmark, told the publication that some problems still need to be overcome before the women can store their eggs in such a way.
Posted by Alexandra George