Fertility 2015 is the 9th biennial conference of three UK Fertility Societies: ACE, BFS and the SR&F and is the largest UK IVF show. It is being held at the ICC Birmingham on the 7-9 January 2015. Speakers are international IVF and ART experts and the conference will hold  concurrent sessions focussing on specialist areas in fertility and reproductive biology and brings together andrologists, embryologists, gynaecologists and consultants.

We at Planer will be there - showcasing a new Sperm Selection Kit used to remove apoptotic spermatozoa. We will be giving live demos and workshops at the stand every hour, so please do come along and see it in action! And .. we will also be handing out a free kit - worth over £1000 - to a lucky winner. So, come and drop your business card off or leave your details with us for a chance to win.

Culturing the embryos in a BT37Jennifer Barfield of Colorado State University has been using our BT37s for a Bison conservation program in conjunction with the Bronx Zoo of New York.

As most of the several hundred thousand remaining bison of North America are not pure but have ancestral cattle DNA she and the researchers are trying to preserve some of the purer bison lineages with assisted reproduction.

During the successful collaboration with the Bronx Zoo in 2012 an embryo of a pure bred Yellowstone bison was removed and implanted into a healthy, 'commercial' bison with ancestral cattle genes. This surrogate bison cow was then transported, along with 15 other bison donated by the American Prairie Reserve, to the Bronx Zoo in New York.

In 1907 fifteen Bronx Zoo bison boarded railway cars for Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountain Preserve in an historic mission to help the American bison recover on the Western Plains. The aim was to restore a national icon, and it was achieved. Today, 20,000 wild bison roam the Western Plains. The herds of Yellowstone and other national parks still share a family tree with those at the Bronx and Queens Zoos.


Our Spanish Distributor in IVF for monitoring and alarm systems - BioCare - have recently launched our DATAcentre alarm and monitoring system in Spain into the IVF market.

BioCare started in 1997 carrying a wide range of products aimed at the needs of IVF centres . They aim to support customers through all steps with consulting services, training and after-sales assistance. The photo shows the DataCentre on their stand at the recent Congreso Nacional, Sociedad Española de Fertilidad exhibition. Alongside are the LN2 temperature sensors that ensure samples are stored at the right temperature within dewars.

The DataCentre is a simple and reliable wireless monitoring solution specifically designed for all equipment in an IVF lab - including Liquid Nitrogen dewars.

EggTech - Courtesy www.public-domain-image.comOur newly appointed distributor EGG Technologies (EGG Tech) has been busy since returning from the European Embryo Transfer Association meeting held in the beautiful city of Dresden.

Brian Graham , MD of EGG Tech, says that the conference went very well and EGGTech are now putting quotes together for alarms and monitoring for three cryo storage tanks, and also for some of our incubators.

The keynote lecture was given by Michel Thibier of France on the success of the European embryo transfer industry in cattle so there was strong interest in these products at the show.

TT 2014

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) visits the UK for the first time as it is being held on October 6-8th in the historic Assembly Rooms at Edinburgh.

This beautiful 18th century building, located in the heart of Edinburgh, opened its doors in 1787 and has played host to a wide range of many distinguished guests.  From royal banquets to Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows, and from ceilidhs to readings by Dickens, Scott and Thackeray.

With his new benchtop incubators, embryologist Dr Peter Hollands of Agora, was keen to remove the burden of taking manual readings of temperature and CO2 for his staff.

He contacted us about the ReAssure system to help manage this and, with a mind to later requirements, about status alerts, alarms and data handling for liquid nitrogen storage and other lab ware.

He was after a solution that could start small but expand - to alarm and monitor equipment and rooms in the labs, to store and access data compliantly and cascade alarms via audibles, phone calls, emails and SMS.

Since 2006 the Agora Centre has offered fertility, early pregnancy and female health services; the HFEA figures show its results to be comparable to some to the top IVF units in UK, indeed the world.

Agora offers a complete programme of assisted conception including follicle tracking, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intra-cytoplasmic injection (ICSI).

Successfully cryo-preserved whole ovaryIn an important paper just published in Human Reproduction, Prof Bruce Campbell and his team at the School of Medicine, Nottingham set out some exciting results on the restoration of fertility - the cryo-preservation and transplantation of whole adult sheep ovaries.

This is the first time that a whole organ from an adult large mammal has been successfully frozen, successfully transplanted and has successfully produced immediate results.

Premature ovarian failure affects 1–2% of all women and is due to a number of causes - such as genetic predisposition and cancer treatment. Using a new method, a Planer controlled rate freezer and a different post operative regime, Prof Campbell and team restarted 100% of the ovarian function and produced high rates of natural fertility in his sheep: pregnancy rate 64%; live birth rate 29%.

KaktovA recent article on cryopreservation by Dr Igor Katkov, well known expert in cryobiology, features Planer equipment in the explanation of slow freezing.  

Dr Katkov usefully summarises the development of the use of rate freezing, writing “ …..the explosion of methods of cryopreservation ….in the 1950s ...revolutionised first the cattle industry and then blood transfusion.”  Early attempts were empirical but “ … that changed, however, with  equations for equilibrium slow freezing with minimal intracellular ice formation. With a new approach, Mazur in the US and Wilmut in the UK were able to cryopreserve mouse embryos. Since then, slow freezing has been the mainstream of modern cryobiology.”

Mazur’s and others' work in the 1960s showed different cell types would need their own optimal cryopreservation protocol depending on their properties and the type of cryoprotectants used.

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