A sperm bank, semen bank or cryo bank is a facility that collects and stores human sperm mainly from sperm donors. The increasing range of services which is available through sperm banks nevertheless enables more and more people to have choices over the whole issue of reproduction.
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Cryopreservation is a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures, such as (typically) 77 K or −196 °C (the boiling point of liquid nitrogen). At these low temperatures, any biological activity, including the biochemical reactions that would lead to cell death, is effectively stopped. However, when cryoprotectant solutions are not used, the cells being preserved are often damaged due to freezing during the approach to low temperatures or warming to room temperature.