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Cryoprotectants: A review of the actions and applications of cryoprotective solutes that modulate cell recovery from ultra-low temperatures

Elliott, GD; Wang, S; Fuller, BJ; (2017) Cryoprotectants: A review of the actions and applications of cryoprotective solutes that modulate cell recovery from ultra-low temperatures. Cryobiology , 76 pp. 74-91. 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2017.04.004. Green open access

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Abstract

Cryopreservation has become a central technology in many areas of clinical medicine, biotechnology, and species conservation within both plant and animal biology. Cryoprotective agents (CPAs) invariably play key roles in allowing cells to be processed for storage at deep cryogenic temperatures and to be recovered with high levels of appropriate functionality. As such, these CPA solutes possess a wide range of metabolic and biophysical effects that are both necessary for their modes of action, and potentially complicating for cell biological function. Early successes with cryopreservation were achieved by empirical methodology for choosing and applying CPAs. In recent decades, it has been possible to assemble objective information about CPA modes of action and to optimize their application to living systems, but there still remain significant gaps in our understanding. This review sets out the current status on the biological and chemical knowledge surrounding CPAs, and the conflicting effects of protection versus toxicity resulting from the use of these solutes, which are often required in molar concentrations, far exceeding levels found in normal metabolism. The biophysical properties of CPAs that allow them to facilitate different approaches to cryogenic storage, including vitrification, are highlighted. The topics are discussed with reference to the historical background of applying CPAs, and the relevance of cryoprotective solutes in natural freeze tolerant organisms. Improved cryopreservation success will be an essential step in many future areas such as regenerative medicine, seed banking, or stem cell technology. To achieve this, we will need to further improve our understanding of cryobiology, where better and safer CPAs will be key requirements.

Type: Article
Title: Cryoprotectants: A review of the actions and applications of cryoprotective solutes that modulate cell recovery from ultra-low temperatures
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2017.04.004
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cryobiol.2017.04.004
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Antifreeze proteins, CPA, Cell and tissue recovery, Cryopreservation, Ice nucleating agents, Osmotic injury, Toxicity, Vitrification
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Surgical Biotechnology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1556251
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