10% PVP in FertiCult™ Flushing medium

Viscous medium for use in ICSI procedures

Intra-cytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) requires the capture of individual sperm cells in a glass pipette for injection into the oocyte. This procedure is facilitated by first immobilizing the sperm. The most widely used method of immobilizing the sperm cells is by placing them in a viscous medium prior to nicking the tail to immobilize sperm completely. Our Ph Eur grade PVP solution in HEPES buffered FertiCult™ Flushing medium is used in ICSI procedures in humans. The viscosity of our product is such that optimal slowing down of the spermatozoa is obtained for easy pick-up of individual cells.

All the products in the FertiCult™ product range undergo strict quality control to comply with the following specifications:

pH 7.2-7.9 (7.2-7.6 at release)
Osmolality 280-340 mOsm/kg (280-320mOsm/kg at release)
Sterility Sterile(SAL 10-3)
Viscosity >170cP at 25°C
Endotoxin <1.0 EU/mL
Mouse embryo assay ≥80% blastocysts after 96h incubation
Shelf life 9 months from date of produce


Europe: CE-marked - Canada: Health Canada License
Brazil: registered

Product order codes

PVP0.2S PVP - 5 x 0.2ml
PVP1 PVP - 1 x 1mL

The product composition can be found in the MSDS (see Resources). Additional information on some components is provided below:

Component Benefit
HEPES (18 mM)

HEPES stabilizes the pH under air (Clark and Swain 2014), therefore CO2 incubation is not required.

HSA (4 g/L)

10% PVP in FertiCult Flushing medium contains 4 g/Liter Human Serum Albumin (HSA) to optimize medium performances. HSA is universally added to most ART media because it is widely considered to be of benefit.

The role of albumin in ART media is extensive, including:
- Stabilization of the cell membrane of the embryo in the medium (Malda, et al. 2008).
- Inhibition of lipid peroxidation that can be damaging to sperm (Alvarez and Storey 1995).
- Carrier and source of essential molecules needed by the embryo (Malda, et al. 2008).
- Detoxification by binding waste products from cell metabolism (Blake, et al. 2004).
- Facilitating gamete/embryo manipulation by preventing adsorption to the surface through saturation of potential binding sites (Blake, et al. 2004)

Polyvinyl pyrrolidone

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) requires the capture of an individual sperm in a glass pipette for injection into an oocyte. This procedure is facilitated by first immobilizing the sperm. Probably the most practiced method is the reduction of sperm motility by placing it in a viscous fluid. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) has been used successfully to increase the viscosity of sperm solutions, thus facilitating the handling and immobilization of sperm.
Moreover, PVP is used to prevent the sperm cells from sticking to the injection pipette during the ICSI procedure and to give more control over the flow of fluid in the ICSI needle (Gianaroli, et al. 2000).

Product literature

     Kato, Y.; Nagao, Y., Effect of polyvinylpyrrolidone on sperm function and early embryonic development following intracytoplasmic sperm injection in human assisted reproduction., Reprod Med Biol (2012),Vol.11,No.4,pp.165-176
     Noorashikin, M.; Ong F.B.; Omar, M.H.; Zainul-Rashid, AZ.; Murad, A.; Shamsir, MA.; Norsina, A.; Nurshaireen, NSMN.; Sharifah-Teh and Fazilah, A.H., affordable ART for developing countries: a cost benefit comparison of low dose stimulation versus high dose GnRH antagonist protocol., Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (2008),Vol.17,No.3,pp.671-694

Literature concerning the components

     Alvarez, JG., and BT. Storey, Differential incorporation of fatty acids into and peroxidative loss of fatty acids from phospholipids of human spermatozoa., Mol Reprod Dev. (1995),Vol.42,No.3,pp.334-46
     Blake, D., P. Svalander, M. Jin, C. Silversand, and L. Hamberger., Protein Supplementation of Human IVF Culture Media., Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (2002),Vol.19,No.3,pp.137-143
     Clark, N.A. and Swain, J.E., Buffering systems in IVF., Culture media, Solutions, and Systems in Human ART, by P. Quinn (2014),pp.30-46
     Gianaroli, L., et al., ESHRE guidelines for good practice in IVF laboratories. Committee of the Special Interest Group on Embryology of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology., Human Reproduction (2000),Vol.15,pp.2241-2246
     Malda, J. et al., Cell Nutrition, In Tissue engineering, by C. Van Blitterswijk. London, UK: Academia Press, Elsevier, (2008),pp.327-362


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