Synthetic polymers enable non-vitreous cellular cryopreservation by reducing ice crystal growth during thawing

Robert C. Deller, Manu Vatish, Daniel A. Mitchell, Matthew I. Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The cryopreservation of cells, tissue and organs is fundamental to modern biotechnology, transplantation medicine and chemical biology. The current state-of-the-art method of cryopreservation is the addition of large amounts of organic solvents such as glycerol or dimethyl sulfoxide, to promote vitrification and prevent ice formation. Here we employ a synthetic, biomimetic, polymer, which is capable of slowing the growth of ice crystals in a manner similar to antifreeze (glyco)proteins to enhance the cryopreservation of sheep and human red blood cells. We find that only 0.1 wt% of the polymer is required to attain significant cell recovery post freezing, compared with over 20 wt% required for solvent-based strategies. These results demonstrate that synthetic antifreeze (glyco)protein mimics could have a crucial role in modern regenerative medicine to improve the storage and distribution of biological material for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3244
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • RED BLOOD CELLS
  • ANTIFREEZE GLYCOPROTEINS
  • RECRYSTALLIZATION INHIBITION
  • POLY(VINYL ALCOHOL)
  • LIVING CELLS
  • VITRIFICATION
  • SURVIVAL
  • FISH
  • BIOPRESERVATION
  • ERYTHROCYTES

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