Abstract #58

# 58
M. E. Kjelland*1,2, T. Loper3, C. Woodley2, T. M. Swannack2, T. K. Stroud4, S. Romo5, 1Conservation, Genetics & Biotech LLC, Valley City, ND, USA;, 2U. S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, Vicksburg, MS, USA;, 3Woodland Animal Clinic, Vicksburg, MS, USA;, 4Hoofstock Genetics, LLC, Ranger, TX, USA;, 5Facultad de Estudios Superiores Cuautitlán, UNAM, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Estado de México, México.

The assisted reproduction industry involving sales and services for gametes and embryos for domestic animals of commercial value is a large market totaling millions of dollars annually. The objective of this study was to develop and test gamete and embryo packaging—Inteli-Straws (I-S) equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Specifically, French straws (0.25 and 0.5 mL) were modified to include extreme cold-tolerant RFID microchips. Two groups of I-S were formed: Group (G)1: RFID chips that were autoclaved (n = 49), and G2: RFID chips that were not autoclaved (n = 47). Both groups had a control that was not exposed to liquid nitrogen (LN). Each group was exposed to LN up to 4 times: 2 slow freezes first and then 2 fast (i.e. vitrification) freezes, and I-S RFID chip survival was determined. I-S detection and readability (non-autoclaved) was also measured, placing I-S just above LN (in vapors, n = 43) or just below LN (n = 38). Statistical differences (α = 0.05) were determined using Fisher’s exact test. The results between G1 and G2 were not significantly different (P = 0.108) after 4 rounds of cryopreservation (and thawing). For G1, 98% (48/49) of the I-S RFID chips remained operational, and control and treatment were not significantly different (P = 1.000). For G2, 89.4% (42/47) of the autoclaved RFID chips remained operational, and control and treatment not significantly different (P = 0.099). RFID chip readability results; that is, the ability to detect the I-S versus not able to detect the I-S, comparing placement just above liquid nitrogen (LN) versus the placement just below LN were not significantly different (P = 0.105). Notably, detection differences varied within each group, with I-S in G1 (mean = 9.5; SD = 3.5 cm) readable at a larger distance, 5.2 cm farther than the mean of G2 (mean = 4.3; SD = 1.9 cm). During AI or embryo transfer (ET), a technician may not clearly identify the label or colour of straw, may incorrectly record the information, or may take more time than desirable to record it. Increased exposure times may lead to decreased viability of gametes and embryos. The results show that by using the I-S, one may quickly scan the straw within LN or LN vapors, thereby automatically detecting information and even uploading it to a database (e.g., scanner sophistication). We are not aware of comparable device to I-S for locating and retrieving associated information without removing the gamete/embryo packaging from LN or LN vapors; unlike traditionally labelled straws (e.g., laser etched or ink labels). Also, for AI and ET, the I-S can be quickly scanned and the straw information automatically detected and uploaded to a database.