The present study was designed to investigate fertilisation of open pulled straw (OPS) vitrified mouse oocytes drilled with piezo-micromanipulation method and their subsequent in vitro and in vivo developmental capacity. Ovulated mouse oocytes were vitrified using the OPS method. After warming, the zona pellucida of a group of vitrified-warmed oocytes was drilled by piezo-micromanipulation. Groups of (a) vitrified, (b) vitrified/drilled and (c) fresh control oo-cytes were fertilised in vitro. The fertilisation rate of vitrified-warmed oocytes was significantly lower than that of fresh oocytes (45.0 ±12.6% vs. 85.2 ±6.8%, P < 0.05), and was significantly improved by zona-drilling (85.4 ±7.3%). However, blastocyst formation rates of the vitrified and vitrified/drilled groups were significantly lower than those of the fresh controls (65.7 ±7.0% and 66.4 ±2.5% vs. 86.6 ±4.3%, respectively, P < 0.05). The cell number of blastocysts from the vitrified/drilled or the vitrified group was not different from that of the controls. Embryo transfer resulted in pregnancy in all three groups, but the rate of development to term was lower in the vitrified/drilled or vitrified groups than in the controls (16.6 ±0.7% or 36.0 ±2.4% vs. 51.3 ±2.9%, respectively). Our results demonstrated that zona-drilling with piezo-micromanipulation could improve fertilisation in OPS vitrified mouse oocytes but did not increase the overall number of vitrified oocytes developing to term.
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