CU Fertility Clinic Installs World’s First Commercially Available Cryo Sentinel to Better Protect Families’ Frozen Embryos & Eggs

Previous failures in two clinics that destroyed thousands of frozen embryos, eggs & sperm spurred Advanced Reproductive Medicine to acquire this safer system.

DENVER, January 2, 2020 – The CU Advanced Reproductive Medicine (CU ARM) IVF laboratory has become the first embryology lab in the world, outside of testing, to acquire the Cryo Sentinel monitoring system, improving the safety of patients’ cryopreserved eggs, embryos and sperm.

This effort by the Denver clinic follows two major cryopreservation storage accidents in 2018 in Ohio and California clinics that caused widespread alarm, fear and worry among the many thousands of hopeful parents who entrust their frozen specimens to fertility clinics nationwide. Each clinic is ultimately responsible for its cryopreservation system.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology found that more than 10,000 individuals used egg freezing alone in 2017, an increase from 2016. This trend is expected to continue, and safety of the cryopreserved eggs, embryos and sperm is a top priority for CU Advanced Reproductive Medicine.

“We are acutely aware that these cryopreserved tissues in our care represent the hopes and dreams of a family for many people dealing with infertility, or for young women preserving their eggs for future use,” said Dr. Liesl Nel-Themaat, CU ARM IVF lab director. “Unlike conventional internal temperature alarms in widespread use, the Cryo Sentinel triggers an alert the moment the tank integrity is compromised, providing ample time to move the cryopreserved eggs, embryos or sperm to safety.”

Cryo Sentinel is unlike anything else on the market, said Nel-Themaat. Liquid nitrogen storage tanks can be empty for an extended amount of time before the conventional internal temperature alarm is triggered, giving very little time to respond. When the vacuum of the containers fails, it first causes the outside of the tanks to cool. This is what Cryo Sentinel’s thermographic video of the tanks monitors – providing a live video warning before the nitrogen level has been seriously reduced, jeopardizing the frozen tissues.

“We can now look at live video of our cryostorage room from anywhere in the world, and the constant video logging provides data so we can determine what went wrong in the first place,” said Nel-Themaat. She adds that Cryo Sentinel also monitors on a larger scale by viewing many tanks at once, rather than one internal sensor in each tank.

“We are both honored and excited to work with the CU Advanced Reproductive Medicine for our first hospital install of Cryo Sentinel,” said Thomas Elliott, Cryo Sentinel developer. “Working with a university hospital is a wonderful opportunity, and a very important validation step to show the positive impact of this new technology.”

The Cryo Sentinel system was debuted at the 2019 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress & Expo.

About University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine

University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine specializes in the evaluation and treatment of infertility and reproductive disorders. The clinic is located at 3055 Roslyn St., Room 230, Denver, Colorado, with surgery and lab facilities at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. A Colorado Springs office is located at 4125 Briargate Parkway, #350. For more information, see arm.coloradowomenshealth.com or call 720-848-1690.