Safety in the laboratory depends not only on the performance of each person in the day-to-day routine, but also on every decision taken beforehand.

For example, following a strict protocol during procedures is of utmost importance, but the products used to carry them out are no less, and that decision comes in advance.

Pre-purchase research and study to find a tailor-made solution for each laboratory is crucial for decision-makers such as lab managers, as the outcome of those decisions will have a direct impact on the results.

Kitazato's Cryotop on Repro Plate

What makes the difference in freezing and thawing media?

Each component in the vitrification and thawing media plays a very specific role. There are different compositions and combinations on the market that pursue the same objective. However, the choice of composition and other characteristics of the media do make a difference.

HPC versus HSA


HPC and HSA are two components used in vitrification media with the same objective: to protect cells from damage caused by freezing.

Human Serum Albumin (HSA) is an hemoderivative. As such, every product containing it needs to be handled with gloves, as it is specified in all their IFU, since there is no method to guarantee that these products will not transmit infectious agents.

Furthermore, the use of latex or nitrile gloves while handling liquid nitrogen (LN2) is contraindicated as in case of contact, the glove can stick to the skin, considerably aggravating the burn and turning the vitrification process with gloves a high risk for the embryologists.

On the other hand, HPC (Hydroxypropylcellulose) is a synthetic polymer with a very high proven efficacy in cell protection during cryopreservation. As it is a synthetic compound, the risks of handling biological material or blood derivatives are directly excluded.

It also provides higher viscosity to the media, improving the detachment of the specimens from the device and reducing mechanical stress upon warming, which provides better survival rates.



Trehalose and Sucrose are non-permeable cryoprotectants. While sucrose has been proven to be a worse promoter of the vitreous state transition (increasing the risk of recrystallization during the vitrification and thawing process), trehalose has shown superior cryoprotective properties.

In several studies, trehalose has been proven to increase cell stability, preventing ice crystals and reducing the chances of cell damage.



Phenol Red is a pH-sensitive dye used to monitor the pH of the media. While being non-toxic for the embryo development, phenol red provides an easy visual aid, allowing instant detection of pH level changes in media during embryo culture.

This component acts as a quality control tool and helps the performance of the operators, and with it, helps guaranteeing the success rates of the vitrification method.



CE Marking is a world-wide indicator of safety and effectiveness. Regardless of the selling market, the CE Marking is a guarantee of health and safety standards, as the EU regulations are one of the upmost strict health regulations in the world.

The Cryotop® Method: the only vitrification method in the world to comply all

Kitazato’s Vitrification Solutions are the only ones in the world to gather all four advantages:

  • Use of HPC (synthetic polymer) instead of HSA
  • Use of Trehalose instead of Sucrose as cryoprotectant
  • Phenol Red as a visual pH indicator in the media
  • CE Marking for all the products involved in The Cryotop® Method

Would you like to achieve the best results in vitrification while guaranteeing the maximum safety? Join one of our hands-on workshops and learn the best tips & tricks of The Cryotop® Method.

Vitrification Media Kitazato