The prevalence of genetically engineered mice in medical research has led to ever increasing storage costs. Trehalose has a significant beneficial effect in preserving the developmental potential of mouse sperm following partial desiccation and storage at temperatures above freezing. Using multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry, we are able to image and measure trehalose in individual spermatozoa. We provide the first evidence that trehalose penetrates the nucleus of a mammalian cell, permitting tolerance to desiccation. These results have broad implications for long-term storage of mammalian cells.