We have used microencapsulated hepatocytes as model to develop a method of vitreous cryopreservation of large quantities of cell-containing constructs. The method included a preequilibration procedure in which the amount of penetrating cryoprotectant was gradually increased by 15% in each step. The optimal vitrification solution consists of 40% ethylene glycol and 0.6M sucrose. The concentration of 1M sucrose used for the first dilution solution with subsequent decrease of sucrose concentration to 0.7 M sucrose and by 0.2-0.15M for each subsequent step. This sucrose dilution procedure had no adverse effect on cell functions. Three cooling rates (400°C/min and above) and three warming rates (650°C/min and above), in combination with the proposed vitrification solution, were equally effective. The optimization of the procedure and solutions allow microencapsulated hepatocytes to be preserved with almost 100% retention of cell functions and no detectable damage to the fragile microcapsules. The de-linking of the cooling/warming rates with the effectiveness of vitrification potentially paves the way for large scale cryopreservation of complex tissue engineered constructs.
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Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: June 1, 2004
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CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation
The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.