Biotechnology of reproduction

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The objective of this course is to provide scientific knowledge on in vitro embryo production, micromanipulation and cryoconservation of gametes and embryos. Information about clinical applications of these techniques for the treatment of infertility and for the improvement of reproductive performances of domestic animals are also provided. Students are also given instructions on culture of stem cells of extra-fetal origin and cloning. This course also aims to stimulate the student to critically evaluate the results published in the literature related to the topics of the course
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will demonstrate their knowledge on the main requirements of an in vitro embryo production system as well as the meaning and the potential application of micromanipulation techniques applied to gametes and embryos, and of the culture of stem cells. Their independent judgment will be demonstrated by the ability to critically read the specific literature and it is also expected that their communication skills using scientific terminology will be improved by this practice.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Lectures and Practicals:
- in vitro systems of embryo production
- in vitro capacitation and selection of spermatozoa
- equipment for micromanipulation of gametes and embryos
- micromanipulation of gametes
- micromanipulation of embryos
- cryoconservation of gametes and embryos
- superovulation and estrus synchronization
- embryo transfer
- application of micromanipulation in infertility treatment and for the improvement of reproductive performances in domestic animals
- colture of stem cells of extra-fetal origin
- cloning.
Prerequisites for admission
It is advisable to know the anatomy and physiology of gametes.
Teaching methods
Attendance is strongly recommended for lectures and exercises.
Frontal lessons and laboratory exercises in small groups are given.
In the lectures, students are involved by stimulating their interest and encouraging them to participate by asking questions and asking to summarize parts already covered in the previous lessons.
In small group practical exercises, the student is guided to achieve autonomy in the manual skills necessary for the evaluation and treatment of gametes and cells in vitro.
Teaching Resources
- Gordon I., Laboratory production of cattle embryos, CAB International, 1994, University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0 85198 928 4.
- Palermo, G. D., & Sills, E. S. (Eds.). (2018). Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: Indications, Techniques and Applications. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-70496-8
- Fleming, S. D., & King, R. S. (Eds.) (2003). Micromanipulation in Assisted Conception: A Users' Manual and Troubleshooting Guide. Cambridge University Press. SBN-13 978-0-521-64847-9
- Scientific Papers,
- Slides of the Lectures in Ariel.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The written exam (1 hour) consists in 2 open questions and 3 multiple choice questions aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of knowledge relating to the topics covered during the course both during the theoretical lessons and during the practical exercises. Minimum approval grade is 18 and the maximum grade is 30 "cum laude" (with honors).
Practicals: 36 hours
Lessons: 18 hours