Cellular Antifreeze

Cellular Antifreeze

Author: David Bradley

Many organisms use natural antifreeze to protect themselves from conditions in which ice crystals would form and destroy their cells. Researchers in Canada have now developed analogs of one group of such compounds, C-linked antifreeze glycoproteins (C-AFGP). They have used these C-AFGPs as antifreeze agents for preventing ice recrystallization during freeze-thaw cycles of human embryonic liver cells used in research.

Tests show that addition of this antifreeze solution at 0.5 to 0.8 millimolar concentration is an excellent alternative to the use of 2.5 % dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solvent, which is commonly used as a cryoprotectant.

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