When extra embryos are transported to a different facility than where they were created they are (frozen) in liquid nitrogen and then shipped using a dry shipper. What is a dry shipper? Dry shippers are large dewar (vacuum) flasks that are designed for the safe shipment of specimens at liquid nitrogen temperatures without the risk of spilling liquid nitrogen. When prepared correctly, a dry shipper does not contain any free liquid nitrogen.
Because embryos are frozen in liquid nitrogen you can transport them anywhere in the world using a courier service that specializes in embryo transportation using a dry shipper. The most important part of all this is maintaining a “cold chain” or “cold chain management” – this refers to controlled temperature transportation of pharmaceutical products, biologicals, and active ingredients. In this case it’s cryopreserved embryos and dry ice is often used.
A clinic or embryo bank must authorize the transportation of frozen embryo and that request must come in writing. Some clinics will lend the patient a dry shipper which you in turn return to them – most charge a rental fee – they take care of the charging of the dry shipper with liquid nitrogen, they will then load the embryos and hand the entire package to the patient. If the distance between clinics is not far the patient can hand carry embryos from one clinic to another. Generally embryos are safe in a dry shipper for a specific period of time – this can be four – seven days.
Because the transportation of embryos requires clear and lengthy paperwork which will state exactly what’s being transported (frozen human embryos for the patients’ medical treatment and stating they are non-infectious and non-hazardous) taking embryos through customs and clearing security is rarely a problem.
Most patients feel that transporting this precious cargo is too complicated and couriers are often hired for this. If you are in need of any reputable courier services, please don’t hesitate to contact Global IVF directly.