The EMMA (European Mouse Mutant Archive) Cryopreservation Workshop took place earlier this week in Madrid, May 7-8, at the main campus of CSIC, with an excellent success, organized by EMMA, supported by the EC-7th Framework Programme and co-sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Sixty participants from many countries around the world gathered to present and discuss, in depth, the latest approaches, methodologies and techniques available for the efficient cryopreservation of mouse strains, through embryo, sperm and ovary cryopreservation. In addition to invited speakers and invited participants, the workshop was attended by delegates from EMMA nodes and 12 ISTT members. As many as 21 talks were delivered, by selected invited speakers, representing the different major archiving iniatives currently existing (EMMA, MMRRC, The Jackson Laboratory, RIKEN, APN, CMMR, AMMRA) and the research and development initiatives, as well as state-of-art protocols in the field. Presentations, abstracts and pictures from this EMMA Cryopreservation Workshop are freely available to anyone interested, from the meeting web site, and can be also accessed from ISTT and EMMA web sites. The remaining presentations will be progressively added upon receiving the approval from the corresponding guest speakers.
At EMMA, we envisaged this cryopreservation workshop as a forum to brainstorm and discuss in depth the latest technological advances in cryopreservation, including sperm and embryo cryopreservation, updated IVF methods and related techniques as ovary cryopreservation, laser-assisted and piezo-driven ICSI, transportation of frozen material and other technical and logistic challenges relevant to the operation of current mouse embryo/sperm archives. We believed we entirely fulfilled the expectations and all participants went back home, to their research institutions, loaded with new ideas, updated solutions and suggested improvements that can be explored and applied for a most efficient management of a mouse embryo/sperm cryopreservation bank. All participants agreed to continue organizing this type of focused workshops in the near future. The ISTT will be always there, ready to support these very interesting initiatives.
Lluis Montoliu, EMMA Spanish node