News 2016

First British woman gives birth after an ovarian tissue transplant

The photo shows the controlled rate freezer type that was used to pre-freeze a section of ovarian tissue from the first British woman to give birth after an ovarian tissue transplant.

The 33 year old woman had the tissue removed some ten years ago after being diagnosed with a rare type of kidney cancer. The section had to be controlled rate frozen before it could be stored in ultra-cold liquid nitrogen and this was done in a Planer computer controlled freezer.

The woman, then in her 20s, underwent a course of chemotherapy which usually results in premature menopause and infertility. The cancer treatment was successful and nine years later a team from Edinburgh University's MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, led by Prof Richard Anderson, thawed the preserved tissue and re implanted it successfully - so that in mid June 2016 the woman gave birth to a healthy boy after a natural conception.

Over 30 patients around the world have given birth after having ovarian tissue frozen, stored and re-implanted and in most cases the British made Planer controlled rate freezer was used before the tissue was stored in liquid nitrogen.

In this case the doctors removed a section of tissue from one of the woman's two ovaries ten years ago, which contained healthy but immature eggs. This specimen was treated and then frozen down in the Planer controlled rate freezer in a series of cooling steps so that the tissue was in optimum state before being transferred to a liquid nitrogen tank for storage at a temperature around -190 ℃. The cancer treatment was successful and the team carefully thawed the tissue and the pieces, a few millimetres in size, were transplanted on to the existing ovary.

The team at the University of Edinburgh have been researching the technique for more than twenty years. The Planer company, based near London’s Heathrow, has pioneered controlled temperature equipments for cells, embryos and tissue for forty years - installing some ten thousand machines in eighty countries around the world.

Geoffrey Planer commented “This offers hope to thousands of women who need to undergo treatment for cancer - hats off to Professor Anderson and the team in Edinburgh”.

For further information, please contact:-
Adrian Fuller, Sales Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jen Middleton, Press Officer, University of Edinburgh at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More details about Professor Richard Anderson

CO2 Monitoring Sensor launched by Planer at ESHRE

Planer plc today announces the availability of the new PetriSense monitoring system. It provides reliable, continuous monitoring of the critical parameter of carbon dioxide inside benchtop and big box incubators, providing clinicians with an early indication of potential changes in pH. 

Media pH is a critical parameter that affects the development of the embryos. Careful monitoring of pH levels during the culturing process is crucial as a change of as little as 0.1 is sufficient to impair human embryo growth.

The carbon dioxide, CO2, used within incubators is key to pH control. The surrounding growth media used in culturing, buffers pH and means changes in pH are seen later than changes in CO2. So CO2 monitoring can provide early warning of impending changes in pH so that corrective action can be taken earlier. This is what the new Petri Dish sensor does.

Traditional pH meters taking absolute measurements of pH in media can present users with issues concerning sterility and are subject to daily calibration. More recent sensors can give a direct pH reading continuously via identification of fluorescence changes of substrates. While overcoming sterility issues, these can be subject to drift — and they can be expensive and are not portable.

The Planer PetriSense sensor takes advantage of the relationship between CO2 and pH to provide a reliable continuous method for monitoring and early warning of both CO2 changes and hence related pH — overcoming the issues of portability, sterility, expense and drift.

The PetriSense product is launched by Planer at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Annual Meeting being held in Helsinki from 3th to 6th July 2016 on stand number C165.

More about the PetriSense CO2 monitor for Incubators

PetriSense options include the Portable Sense version for monitoring CO2, and hence pH, for short periods of time and a Fixed Sense version that can be added into most types of benchtop incubator. This can also be used as an independent alarm system or connected to a laboratory's own comprehensive monitoring and alarm facility to give 24 hour alerts.

Embryologists and researchers have strived to monitor CO2 or pH effectively and consistently within incubators for a number of years, but now the two PetriSense products provide the opportunity to monitor directly the CO2 and infer the pH continuously via a user-friendly, non-invasive system with its own easy to use logging software. 

Geoffrey Planer comments "Effective continuous CO2 monitoring is an essential next step in ensuring consistent IVF success rates, and we’re delighted to be launching this sensor as the first in our PetriSense range".

To find out more about the PetriSense Sensor, please contact us:-
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: +44 1932 755000

Come and see Planer at ESHRE 2016

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s (ESHRE) Annual Meeting will be held this year in Helsinki from 3rd to 6th July. The Society now has over 6,000 members from over 110 countries drawn from the medical and scientific community.

A broad range of subjects will be covered during the Meeting’s three days. Session 62, focusing on oocyte and embryo cryopreservation, looks to be of particular interest. Presentations in this session will include:-

  • Oxidative markers in cryopreservation medium of frozen- thawed embryos in In Vitro Fertilization: a possible tool for improved embryo selection?
    Winer Zofnat, Israel

  • Different thawed cleaved embryo transfer strategy for cryopreserved embryos according to mode of cryopreservation? : a prospective randomized study comparing 2 culture medium duration
    Achraf Benammar, France

  • Higher cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate after IVF cycles including a fresh embryo transfer than after freeze-all cycles
    Virginie Barraud-Lange, France

  • Multi-center study demonstrates freeze-all IVF protocols are correlated with higher ongoing pregnancy rates in women of advanced maternal age
    Karen Hunter Cohn, U.S.A.

If you are planning to attend ESHRE, do come and see the Planer team on Stand number C165. We will be showcasing our range of products, including cryogenic freezers, sample tracking software and our laboratory alarm & monitoring systems.

For further information about ESHRE 2016, please visit

ISSCR 2016

Planer will be exhibiting at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) conference, one of the largest stem cell and regenerative medicine communities in the world, which is being held in San Francisco, USA from 22nd to 25th June 2016.

The Stem Cell market is a rapidly growing area with lots of investment in new research and techniques especially as more and more therapies are now being offered to patients. Planer controlled rate freezers, sample tracking software, cryo storage vessels and alarm/monitoring systems are in regular use in many stem cell facilities around the world and are at the forefront of the latest research. Many of the latest breakthroughs in the stem cell market have used Planer equipment during their development.

If you are attending the show, come and see the Planer team on booth number 1311. Planer will be showcasing a broad range of products, including cryogenic freezers, sample tracking software and our laboratory alarm & monitoring systems.

For further information on ISSCR please us the link below:

The Euro Tissue Bank and skin freezing

The Euro Tissue bank based at Beverwijk just north of Amsterdam in Holland is the result of an amalgamation of three existing banks: the skin bank founded for the treatment of burns in 1976, the cornea bank and the heart valve bank - both started some ten years later.

The three organisations merged this January and our Dutch distributor has been chosen as their partner of choice for cryogenic needs. Cryo Solutions recently supplied and commissioned a complete new cryogenic installation consisting of an outside bulk tank, vacuum insulated pipe connecting it to two 400L mini tanks which are connected in turn to bio storage vessels. A liquid nitrogen pressure tank feeds the Planer 560 controlled rate freezers which are used mainly for cryo preserving skin.

The whole suite is managed by a panel which allows central management and can be accessed and controlled through a touchscreen.

For more see



Cryopreservation and Transplantation Course - Human Ovarian Tissue

Professor Christiani Amorim (pictured here) and Professor Marie-Madeleine Dolmans will be presenting a hands on workshop and course on the cryopreservation and transplantation of human ovarian tissue as well as preantral follicle isolation and in vitro culture. The team at Louvain have pioneered ovarian tissue transplants in humans.

Christiani started life with a degree in veterinary medicine and after her PhD has worked on preantral follicles. Initially, she focused on domestic animals, developing projects to safeguard native breeds from Brazil and then in Italy through the establishment of cryopreservation programmes for isolated follicles and ovarian tissue. Since 2007 she has been working with human preantral follicles and with a major emphasis on human follicle isolation, cryopreservation, in-vitro culture and xenotransplantation. She is a leading authority on ovarian tissue and its transplantation for women.

The course will take place on June 29-30, 2016 at the Gynecology Research Unit,  Saint-Luc Hospital, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Find out more:-
Download Course PDF


Report shows improvement in bovine embryo quality

Cattle production in France is important and so is selective breeding - shown by the fact that in 20014/15 members of the Allice cooperatives performed over seven million artificial bovine inseminations.  The conditions for such bovine embryo growth are clearly important and a recent study initiated by Distributor IMV Technologies shows why. The study was carried out by Allice, the umbrella organisation for animal reproduction organisations in France.  The purpose of their study was to compare the potential for developing bovine embryos in two different incubators: the Planer BT37 and a standard large 'big box' incubator.

The in-vitro production of bovine embryos is a complex process requiring control over all stages of production of the embryo. These stages start with the collection of ovocytes in donor females followed by maturation, fertilisation and the growth of embryos to blastocyst stage. The comparative study showed that the frequency of development into blastocyst after 7 or 8 days of culture is not altered by whatever incubator was used but, however, the quality of blastocysts was significantly higher for embryos grown in the Planer BT37 incubator. The report says that the improvement in the quality of the embryos produced in vitro should allow improved gestation rates after transfer of fresh  embryos or after freezing and direct transfer.  In conclusion, in experimental conditions, the Allice scientists concluded that the in-vitro culture of bovine embryos in the Planer incubator improved the quality of embryos produced in relation to embryo culture in a standard incubator.

Allice is the well respected body of regional farming cooperatives established sixty years ago to coordinate the interests of the parties making up animal breeding in France. It represents and promotes the cattle, sheep and goat insemination producers in Europe and internationally and conducts research programmes into improving techniques in reproduction physiology and animal genetic selection.

More at


GENERA Labs uses Planer DATAcentre

GENERA is one of the leading Italian assisted conception laboratory groups. With bases in Rome, Naples, Umbria and Venice it is respected around the world and offers diagnoses and therapy for sub-fertile couples. These include the collection, processing and cryopreservation of gametes and embryos. In a recent interview on Italian television Dr. Laura Rienzi of the 'Forum' news programme discussed freezing technique with news anchor Barbara Palombelli.

The film shows Genera's well equipped laboratory area for embryology, andrology and cryo-preservation – and includes their Planer DATAcentre monitoring system which was installed by the IVF specialist supplier Biocare. Here it was important that dewars were monitored, so in this case the system monitors temperature, but sensors for humidity, carbon dioxide, liquid nitrogen level, oxygen, fridge door status etc. can be added. Genera chose the system for their cryo-bank to monitor and alarm all of their critical equipment and samples with the aim of making sure everything works to the highest standards. The DATAcentre system can monitor their valuable samples 24/7 and so helps to resolve any issue before it escalates. Up to 120 transmitters, including a mixture of wireless and hard wired sensors, can be connected.

One of the advantages of the Planer system is that data can be viewed in real time in either graphical or text format and any alarms can be acknowledged and managed via a connected PC or to the LAN port in a building if that is chosen. This allows remote access to the unit via a web browser; either locally or anywhere in the world. Using a web browser users can connect to the Base Centre to have an overview of how the system is operating with links to all other functions. Planer have installations of DATAcentres around the world and are extremely pleased with the association of Biocare Europe and Genera.

You can learn more on the DATAcentre at
Video clip can be seen at: