Overview

In the fields of conservation and global biodiversity loss, LyoLife™ can freeze-dry animal cells, such as white blood cells, sperm, oocytes, and ovarian tissue, along with plant seeds and shoots, for long-term storage at room temperature. This preservation can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen. In addition, LyoLife technology has been used to successfully freeze-dry, rehydrate, and use animal sperm in IVF for procreation, with offspring subsequently reproducing naturally. For conservation and biodiversity purposes, maintaining DNA integrity, as shown with LyoLife, is of great value.

Research

Ram sperm
High Post-Thaw Survival of Ram Sperm after Partial Freeze-Drying
A. Arav, A. Idda, S. M. Nieddu, Y. Natan, S. Ledda

Bovine oocytes
Cryopreservation of oocytes & embryos
A. Arav

Sheep peripheral blood lymphocytes & granulosa cells
Freeze-dried somatic cells direct embryonic development after nuclear transfer
P. Loi, K. Matsukawa, G. Ptak, M. Clinton, J. Fulka Jr., Y. Natan, A. Arav

Mice ovarian tissue
Confidential research assessing freeze-drying mice ovarian tissue
Y. Natan

Market

  • Recent studies indicate that the investment required to conserve habitats and save the world’s most at-risk species stands at $80 billion per year. This represents 1-4% of the net value of ecosystem services being lost annually, for which estimates range from $2 trillion to $6.6 trillion.
  • Historic data indicates that conservation spend works. Between 1992 and 2003, $14.4 billion was spent in 109 countries, including Brazil and China. This spend resulted in a 29 percent-per-country average decrease in the rate of biodiversity decline between 1996 and 2008.
  • The primary causes of biodiversity loss – and the drivers for global conservation efforts – are:

    • Loss of habitat due to urbanization
    • Wildlife trade, e.g. animals, animal parts, coral reef, etc.
    • Environmental factors such as global warming and pollution

  • The World Wildlife Fund global Living Planet Index, which measures biodiversity abundance levels based on 14,152 monitored populations of 3,706 vertebrate species, shows a persistent downward trend. From 1970 to 2012 the LPI shows a 58% overall decline in vertebrate population abundance.
  • Furthermore, over the same period the terrestrial Living Planet Index shows that forests, savannahs, and deserts have declined by 38% overall, the freshwater LPI shows that the freshwater population has declined by 81% overall, and the marine LPI shows an overall 36% decline.
  • The major constraint to overcoming these downwards trends remains the absence of strong legislation, political initiatives, public awareness, prediction of targets, and collaborations among governments, and between governments and and non-government organizations.