Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester (extended) 2011 (Day)
Clayton First semester (extended) 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Sally Catt and Dr Mulyoto Pangestu


This unit provides students with a detailed understanding of cryopreservation techniques and the ability to critically discuss and evaluate these techniques and cryo-banking systems for oocytes, sperm, ovarian and testicular tissue and embryos in human IVF programs. The physico-chemical properties of permeant and non permeant cryoprotectants will be discussed in context with the slow cooling and vitrification methods. The theoretical aspects of cryopreservation will be reinforced by extensive practical training in slow cooling and vitrification techniques. Students will freeze, thaw and analyse sperm samples, oocytes and embryos (mouse), and may be selected to join minor research projects with staff to collect data for abstracts and publication. Students will learn to critically analyse research papers on cryopreservation.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. Be able to critically assess the techniques of gamete and embryo cryopreservation as used in clinical human in vitro fertilization programs
  2. Understand and be able to explain the physico-chemical changes in cells during cryopreservation
  3. Be able to demonstrate practical competence in the techniques of vitrification and slow cooling of embryos and gametes and to plan experiments to compare different freezing methods
  4. Have the skills to critically analyse research papers in cryopreservation related to human reproduction


Written examination (30%)
Journal review (20%)
Practical assessment: practical skills (on-campus only) and quizzes, (50%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Sally Catt

Contact hours

24h contact per week (lectures, tutorials, forums, self-directed study, practical skills
training (on- campus)