Minimizing cell damage throughout the cryopreservation process is critical to enhance the overall outcome. Osmotic shock sustained during the loading and unloading of cryoprotectants (CPAs) is a major source of cell damage during the cryopreservation process. We introduce a microfluidic approach to minimize osmotic shock to cells during cryopreservation. This approach allows us to control the loading and unloading of CPAs in microfluidic channels using diffusion and laminar flow. We provide a theoretical explanation of how the microfluidic approach minimizes osmotic shock in comparison to conventional cryopreservation protocols via cell membrane transport modeling. Finally, we show that biological experiments are consistent with the proposed mathematical model. The results indicate that our novel microfluidic-based approach improves post-thaw cell survivability by up to 25% on average over conventional cryopreservation protocols. The method developed in this study provides a platform to cryopreserve cells with higher viability, functionality, and minimal inter-technician variability. This method introduces microfluidic technologies to the field of biopreservation, opening the door to future advancements at the interface of these fields.
Osteochondral allografting has been proved to be a useful method to treat diseased or damaged areas of joint surfaces. Operational long-term stocks of grafts which supply a buffer between procurement and utilization would contribute to the commercialization or industrialization of this technology. Vitrification has been thought to be a promising method for successful preservation of articular cartilage (AC), but high concentration cryoprotectants (CPAs) are used which may cause high cellular toxicity. An effective way to reduce CPA toxicity is to increase CPA concentration gradually while the temperature is lowered. Understanding the mechanism of CPA permeation at subzero temperatures is important for designing the cryopreservation protocol. In this research, the permeation of dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO) in ovine AC at subzero temperatures was studied experimentally. Pretreated AC discs were exposed in Me2SO solutions for different time (0, 5, 15, 30, 50, 80, and 120 min) at three temperature levels (−10, −20, and −30 °C). The Me2SO concentration within the tissue was determined by ultraviolet (UV) spectrophotometry. The diffusion coefficients were estimated to be 0.85×10−6, 0.48×10−6, and 0.27×10−6 cm2/s at −10, −20, and −30 °C, respectively, and the corresponding activation energy was 29.23 kJ/mol. Numerical simulation was performed to compare two Me2SO addition protocols, and the results demonstrated that the total loading duration could be effectively reduced with the knowledge of permeation kinetics.
Articular cartilage; Vitrification; Dimethyl sulfoxide; Permeation; Diffusion coefficient; Subzero temperature
Development of optimal cryopreservation protocols requires delivery and removal of cryoprotective agents (CPAs) in such a way that negative osmotic and cytotoxic effects on cells are minimized. This is especially true for vitrification, where high CPA concentrations are employed. In this study, we report on the determination of cell membrane permeability parameters for water (Lp) and solute (Ps), and on the design and experimental verification of CPA addition and removal protocols at vitrification-relevant concentrations for a murine insulinoma cell line, βTC-tet cells. Using membrane permeability values and osmotic tolerance limits, mathematical modeling and computer simulations were used to design CPA addition and removal protocols at high concentrations. The cytotoxic effects of CPAs were also evaluated. Cells were able to tolerate the addition and removal of 2.5 M dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and 2.5 M 1,2 propanediol (PD) in single steps, but required multi-step addition and removal with 3.0 M DMSO, 3.0 M PD, and a vitrification-relevant concentration of 3.0 M DMSO+3.0M PD. Cytotoxicity studies revealed that βTC-tet cells were able to tolerate the presence of single component 6.0 M DMSO and 6.0 M PD and to a lesser extent 3.0 M DMSO+3.0 M PD. These results determine the time and concentration domain of CPA exposure that cells can tolerate and are essential for designing cryopreservation protocols for free cells as well as cells in engineered tissues.
Cryopreservation; Vitrification; Membrane permeability; Mouse insulinomas; Cryoprotectant addition-removal; Cryoprotectant cytotoxicity
Oocyte cryopreservation has become an essential tool in the treatment of infertility by preserving oocytes for women undergoing chemotherapy. However, despite recent advances, pregnancy rates from all cryopreserved oocytes remain low. The inevitable use of the cryoprotectants (CPAs) during preservation affects the viability of the preserved oocytes and pregnancy rates either through CPA toxicity or osmotic injury. Current protocols attempt to reduce CPA toxicity by minimizing CPA concentrations, or by minimizing the volume changes via the step-wise addition of CPAs to the cells. Although the step-wise addition decreases osmotic shock to oocytes, it unfortunately increases toxic injuries due to the long exposure times to CPAs. To address limitations of current protocols and to rationally design protocols that minimize the exposure to CPAs, we developed a microfluidic device for the quantitative measurements of oocyte volume during various CPA loading protocols. We spatially secured a single oocyte on the microfluidic device, created precisely controlled continuous CPA profiles (step-wise, linear and complex) for the addition of CPAs to the oocyte and measured the oocyte volumetric response to each profile. With both linear and complex profiles, we were able to load 1.5 M propanediol to oocytes in less than 15 min and with a volumetric change of less than 10%. Thus, we believe this single oocyte analysis technology will eventually help future advances in assisted reproductive technologies and fertility preservation.
Long-term storage of natural tissues or tissue-engineered constructs is critical to allow off-the-shelf availability. Vitrification is a method of cryopreservation that eliminates ice formation, as ice may be detrimental to the function of natural or bioartificial tissues. In order to achieve the vitreous state, high concentrations of CPAs must be added and later removed. The high concentrations may be deleterious to cells as the CPAs are cytotoxic and single-step addition or removal will result in excessive osmotic excursions and cell death. A previously described mathematical model accounting for the mass transfer of CPAs through the sample matrix and cell membrane was expanded to incorporate heat transfer and CPA cytotoxicity. Simulations were performed for two systems, an encapsulated system of insulin-secreting cells and articular cartilage, each with different transport properties, geometry and size. Cytotoxicity and mass transfer are dependent on temperature, with a higher temperature allowing more rapid mass transfer but also causing increased cytotoxicity. The effects of temperature are exacerbated for articular cartilage, which has larger dimensions and slower mass transport through the matrix. Simulations indicate that addition and removal at 4°C is preferable to 25°C, as cell death is higher at 25°C due to increased cytotoxicity in spite of the faster mass transport. Additionally, the model indicates that less cytotoxic CPAs, especially at high temperature, would significantly improve the cryopreservation outcome. Overall, the mathematical model allows the design of addition and removal protocols that ensure CPA equilibration throughout the sample while still minimizing CPA exposure and maximizing cell survival.
osmotic excursions; cytotoxicity; CPA addition/removal; CPA transport; mathematical modeling; vitrification
Thrombopoietin (TPO) has recently been cloned and shown to regulate megakaryocyte and platelet production by activating the cytokine receptor c-mpl. To determine whether TPO is the only ligand for c-mpl and the major regulator of megakaryocytopoiesis, TPO deficient mice were generated by gene targeting. TPO-/- mice have a >80% decrease in their platelets and megakaryocytes but have normal levels of all the other hematopoietic cell types. A gene dosage effect observed in heterozygous mice suggests that the TPO gene is constitutively expressed and that the circulating TPO level is directly regulated by the platelet mass. Bone marrow from TPO-/- mice have decreased numbers of megakaryocyte-committed progenitors as well as lower ploidy in the megakaryocytes that are present. These results demonstrate that TPO alone is the major physiological regulator of both proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells into mature megakaryocytes but that TPO is not critical to the final step of platelet production.
For tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, cryopreservation, a technique for preserving biomaterials in the frozen state with cryoprotective agents (CPAs), is critically important for preserving engineered tissues (ETs) as well as cells necessary to create ETs. As more diverse ETs are produced using various cell types, CPAs and corresponding freeze/thaw (F/T) protocols need to be developed cell/tissue-type specifically. This is because CPAs and F/T protocols that have been successful for one cell/tissue type have proven to be difficult to adapt to other cell/tissue types. The most critical barrier to address this challenge is the inability to screen and identify CPA or CPA mixtures efficiently. In this paper, we developed an "electro-wetting-on-dielectic" (EWOD) based digital microfluidic platform to characterize and screen CPA mixtures cell-type specifically. The feasibility of the EWOD platform was demonstrated by characterizing and optimizing a mixture of dimethlysulfoxide (DMSO) and PBS for human breast cancer cell line as model CPA mixture and cell line. The developed platform multiplexed droplets of DMSO and PBS to create an array of DMSO-PBS mixtures, and mapped the phase change diagram of the mixture. After loading cell suspensions on the platform, the mixture was further screened on-chip for toxicity and cryoproection. The results were discussed to illustrate the capabilities and limitations of the EWOD platform for cell and tissue-type specific optimization of CPA mixtures and F/T protocols.
Electrowetting-on-dielectric; Digital microfluidics; Cryopreservation
The Sf21 cell line is extensively used for virus research and producing heterologous recombinant proteins. To develop optimal strategies for minimizing cell injury due to intracellular ice formation and excessive volume shrinkage during cryopreservation, the fundamental transport properties including the osmotic inactive volume (Vb), the hydraulic conductivity (Lp), and the glycerol permeability (Ps) of Sf21 cell membrane at 25, 15, 5 and −2°C were characterized using a micro-perfusion chamber. The effects of temperature on the hydraulic conductivity and the glycerol permeability of Sf21 cell membrane, reflected by the activation energies, were quantitatively investigated. It was found that the hydraulic conductivity decreases along with the increase of the final CPA concentration at a given temperature, and quantitative analysis indicates that the hydraulic conductivity has a significant linear attenuation along with the increase of the concentration of glycerol. Therefore, we incorporate the concentration dependence of the hydraulic conductivity into the classic Arrhenius relationship by replacing the constant reference value of the hydraulic conductivity at the reference temperature with a function that is linearly dependent on the CPA concentration. Consequently, the prediction of the Arrhenius relationship is improved, and the novel Arrhenius relationship could be very important to the development of optimal strategies for cell cryopreservation.
The present study aimed at the long-term storage of rumen protozoa as living cells in liquid nitrogen. The two-step or interrupted slow freezing procedure was used to cryopreserve six of the dominant species of rumen ciliates isolated from monofaunated animals, Dasytricha ruminantium, Entodinium caudatum, Epidinium ecaudatum caudatum, Eudiplodinium maggii, Isotricha prostoma, and Polyplastron multivesiculatum. We optimized the first step in the interrupted slow freezing procedure, from the extracellular ice nucleation temperature to the holding temperature, and studied the effects of the cooling rates on survival. In addition to the nature of the cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide), the equilibration temperature and equilibration time (25°C and 5 min, respectively), and the holding time at subzero temperature (45 min) recommended previously (S. Kišidayová, J. Microbiol. Methods 22:185-192, 1995), we found that a holding temperature of −30°C, a cooling rate from extracellular ice nucleation temperature to holding temperature of between 1.2°C/min and 2.5°C/min, depending on the ciliate, and rumen juice as the freezing and thawing medium markedly improved the survival rate. Survival rates determined after 2 weeks in liquid nitrogen were 100% for Isotricha, 98% for Dasytricha, 85% for Epidinium, 79% for Polyplastron, 63% for Eudiplodinium, and 60% for Entodinium. They were not significantly modified after a period of 1 year in liquid nitrogen. Four of the five ciliate species cryopreserved for 8 months in liquid nitrogen successfully colonized the rumen when inoculated into defaunated animals. These results have made it possible to set up a bank of cryopreserved rumen protozoa.
Decreased thrombopoiesis has been ascribed a role in the pathogenesis of uremic bleeding in chronic renal failure (CRF). However, serum thrombopoietin (TPO) levels are usually elevated in CRF patients, suggesting increased thrombopoiesis. The aim of this study was to determine the thrombopoietic activity in CRF.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats that underwent 5/6 nephrectomy were used as the model of CRF. Age-matched sham-operated rats were used as controls. Single megakaryocytes were isolated from the rat bone marrow, and their size distribution was examined. Megakaryocyte membrane invaginations were monitored by confocal imaging of di-8-ANEPPS staining, and patch clamp whole-cell recordings of membrane capacitance. TPO gene expression was assessed in various tissues.
Circulating platelet counts and the number of large megakaryocytes were increased in the bone marrow of CRF rats. Massive di-8-ANEPPS staining and increased membrane capacitance in large megakaryocytes demonstrated increased membrane invaginations. Unaffected Kv1.3-channel currents per cell surface area demonstrated unaltered channel densities. TPO transcription was decreased in the renal cortex but increased in the liver and bone marrow of CRF rats.
Increased thrombopoiesis in CRF was thought to be a reactive mechanism to platelet dysfunction. Increased TPO production from the liver and bone marrow compensated for decreased production from damaged kidneys.
Chronic renal failure; Megakaryocytes; Plasma membrane invaginations; Thrombopoiesis; Thrombopoietin; Uremic bleeding
Light microscopy method offers unique abilities for the determination of membrane transport properties of either single or multiple cells. A stream imaging system composed of a microfluidic device, a charge-coupled device camera, and a microscope has been developed to study the osmotic behavior of multiple cells in response toward their extracellular environment. Cells of interest were first mixed with the desired extracellular medium and streamed into a microchannel. The microchannel confines the movement of the cells in a monolayer and allows cells to move along the flow direction only. The cells then pass through a sensing zone where the images of cells were capable of being captured under a microscope. Using mouse dendritic cells (mDCs) as a model system, the membrane transport properties were investigated. The kinetics volume changes of mDCs under various extracellular conditions at room temperature (22°C) were analyzed using a biophysical model to determine water and cryoprotectant transport properties of the cell membrane. This prototype system directly allows us to observe, trace, capture, and store the sample information in terms of number, concentration, dynamic size, or shape for further analyses and documentations. We believe that the system has the potential of being used as a stand-alone equipment, or integrated into a lab-on-a-chip system, or embedded into commercialized instruments.
Composite tissue allotransplantation holds great promise for upper extremity reconstruction but is limited by donor part availability. Cryopreservation may increase the availability of donor parts and even reduce antigenicity. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the viability of cryopreserved composite tissues and to demonstrate the feasibility of microvascular isotransplantation of cryopreserved composite flaps. Twenty epigastric flaps were harvested from Lewis rats. Ten flaps were analyzed fresh. Ten flaps were perfused with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/trehelose cryoprotectant agent (CPA), frozen by controlled cooling to −140°C, and stored for 2 weeks. Flaps were evaluated by factor VIII endothelial staining and MTT tetrazolium salt assay. For the in vivo phase, 30 flaps were harvested. Ten were transplanted fresh to isogenetic recipient animals, ten were perfused with CPA and transplanted, and ten were cryopreserved for 2 weeks, thawed, and transplanted. All cryopreserved samples displayed intact vascular endothelia on factor VIII staining. On MTT analysis, the epithelial viability index for the cryopreserved samples was not significantly different from fresh controls (p = 0.12). All freshly transplanted flaps (10/10) were viable at 60 days. Nine of ten flaps in the perfused/transplanted group were viable at 60 days. Survival of cryopreserved/transplanted flaps ranged from 5 to 60 days. The skin and vascular endothelial components of composite tissue flaps appear to retain their viability after cryopreservation. The in vivo studies demonstrate that the long-term survival of cryopreserved composite tissue transplants is feasible and support an indirect injury, rather than direct injury from freezing or cryoprotectant agents, as the mechanism of flap loss.
Cryopreservation; Composite tissue transplantation; Epigastric flap
Storage methods, which can be taken into consideration for red blood cells and platelets, include liquid storage, cryopreservation and freeze-drying. Red blood cells can be hypothermically stored at refrigerated temperatures, whereas platelets are chilling sensitive and therefore cannot be stored at temperatures below 20 °C. Here we give an overview of available cryopreservation and freeze-drying procedures for blood cells and discuss the effects of these procedures on cells, particularly on cellular membranes. Cryopreservation and freeze-drying may result in chemical and structural modifications of cellular membranes. Membranes undergo phase and permeability changes during freezing and drying. Cryo- and lyoprotective agents prevent membrane damage by different mechanisms. Cryoprotective agents are preferentially excluded from membrane surfaces. They decrease the activation energy for water transport during freezing and control the rate of cellular dehydration. Lyoprotectants are thought to stabilize membranes during drying by forming direct hydrogen bonding interactions with phospholipid head groups. In addition, lyoprotectants can form a glassy state at room temperature. Recently liposomes have been investigated to stabilize blood cells during freezing and freeze-drying. Liposomes modify the composition of cellular membranes by lipid and cholesterol transfer, which can stabilize or destabilize the low temperature response of cells.
Biopreservation; Storage; Erythrocyte; Thrombocyte; Cryopreservation; Lyophilization; Freeze-drying; Membrane; Red blood cell; Platelet
Preimplantation embryos from cattle, sheep, and goats may be cryopreserved for short- or long-term storage. Preimplantation embryos consist predominantly of water, and the avoidance of intracellular ice crystal formation during the cryopreservation process is of paramount importance to maintain embryo viability. Embryos are placed into a hypertonic solution (1.4 – 1.5 M) of a cryoprotective agent (CPA) such as ethylene glycol (EG) or glycerol (GLYC) to create an osmotic gradient that facilitates cellular dehydration. After embryos reach osmotic equilibrium in the CPA solution, they are individually loaded in the hypertonic CPA solution into 0.25 ml plastic straws for freezing. Embryos are placed into a controlled rate freezer at a temperature of -6°C. Ice crystal formation is induced in the CPA solution surrounding the embryo, and crystallization causes an increase in the concentration of CPA outside of the embryo, causing further cellular dehydration. Embryos are cooled at a rate of 0.5°C/min, enabling further dehydration, to a temperature of -34°C before being plunged into liquid nitrogen (-196°C). Cryopreserved embryos must be thawed prior to transfer to a recipient (surrogate) female. Straws containing the embryos are removed from the liquid nitrogen dewar, held in room temperature air for 3 to 5 sec, and placed into a 37°C water bath for 25 to 30 sec. Embryos cryopreserved in GLYC are placed into a 1 M solution of sucrose for 10 min for removal of the CPA before transfer to a recipient (surrogate) female. Embryos cryopreserved in EG, however, may be directly transferred to the uterus of a recipient.
Successful organ cryopreservation will significantly benefit human health and biomedical research. One of the major challenges to this accomplishment is the need for optimization of cryoprotectant agent (CPA) perfusion procedures that involve highly complicated mass transfer processes in organs. The diffusivity of CPA is of critical importance for designing perfusion procedures to minimize the associated toxicity and osmotic damage. However, to date there have been no attempts to measure the CPA diffusivity in organs. In this study, we established a simple CPA diffusion model for relatively small organs, e.g. mouse ovaries, defined the apparent diffusivity (D̄) of CPA for these organs (please see Table 1 for symbol definitions), and established a practical approach to measure the value of D̄ through magnetic resonant imaging (MRI). Using rapid MRI techniques and water saturation analyses, the distribution of ethylene glycol (EG) concentration in the centric cross-section of mouse ovaries was measured at a series of time points during perfusion, and these data were fit to the integral form of the mass transfer equation in the established model. These fits resulted in a value of D̄ for EG in mouse ovaries of 6.1 ± 1.4×10-7cm2/s (mean ± SD). Based on these results, we proposed a modified perfusion procedure that may improve the survival of small organs or thin tissues during equilibrium cooling processes and assessed its efficiency through theoretical analyses.
diffusivity; CPA; MRI; perfusion; organ cryopreservation
The cytokine thrombopoietin (TPO) controls the formation of megakaryocytes and platelets from hematopoietic stem cells. TPO exerts its effect through activation of the c-Mpl receptor and of multiple downstream signal transduction pathways. While the membrane-proximal half of the cytoplasmic domain appears to be required for the activation of signaling molecules that drive proliferation, the distal half and activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway have been implicated in mediating megakaryocyte maturation in vitro. To investigate the contribution of these two regions of c-Mpl and the signaling pathways they direct in mediating the function of TPO in vivo, we used a knock-in (KI) approach to delete the carboxy-terminal 60 amino acids of the c-Mpl receptor intracellular domain. Mice lacking the C-terminal 60 amino acids of c-Mpl (Δ60 mice) have normal platelet and megakaryocyte counts compared to wild-type mice. Furthermore, platelets in the KI mice are functionally normal, indicating that activation of signaling pathways connected to the C-terminal half of the receptor is not required for megakaryocyte differentiation or platelet production. However, Δ60 mice have an impaired response to exogenous TPO stimulation and display slower recovery from myelosuppressive treatment, suggesting that combinatorial signaling by both ends of the receptor intracellular domain is necessary for an appropriate acute response to TPO.
During normal megakaryocyte development, in response to thrombopoetin, mature cells enter a senescence-like state in which they shed platelets; this state, characterized by cell cycle arrest, is defective in malignant megakaryocytes.
Thrombopoietin (TPO) via signaling through its cognate receptor MPL is a key cytokine involved in the regulation of megakaryocyte differentiation leading to platelet production. Mature megakaryocytes are polyploid cells that have arrested DNA replication and cellular proliferation but continue sustained protein synthesis. Here, we show that TPO induces cell-cycle arrest in the megakaryocytic UT7-MPL cell line by the activation of the ERK/MAPK pathway, induction of p21CIP transcription, and senescence markers through EGR1 activation. A similar senescence-like process was also detected in normal primary postmitotic megakaryocytes. In contrast, senescence was not observed in malignant megakaryocytes derived from primary myelofibrosis patients (a form of chronic myeloid hemopathy). Our data indicate that polyploid mature megakaryocytes receive signals from TPO to arrest cell proliferation and enter a senescent-like state. An escape from this physiological process may be associated with certain myeloproliferative neoplasms leading to abnormal megakaryocytic proliferation.
Megakaryocytes are huge bone marrow cells that shed platelets into the blood stream to promote clotting at sites of injury. Mature megakaryocytes differentiate from precursor cells in response to a hormone called thrombopoetin. Here, we show that as part of this normal differentiation process mature megakaryocytes enter a state called senescence in which cell division stops—a feature normally associated with cell aging and death. By studying megakaryocytes in culture, we were able to determine the biochemical pathway induced by thrombopoetin that leads to gene activation associated with senescence. We conclude that thrombopoietin acts differently at two steps in megakaryocyte differentiation: in the early stages it induces megakaryocyte proliferation, and at a latter stage it arrests the cell division cycle leading to platelet production by these cells. Interestingly, certain malignant megakaryocytes did not undergo senescence in response to thrombopoetin, which might explain the abnormal proliferation of these cancerous cells.
Eltrombopag is a first-in-class, orally bioavailable, small-molecule, nonpeptide agonist of the thrombopoietin receptor (TpoR), which is being developed as a treatment for thrombocytopenia of various etiologies. In vitro studies have demonstrated that the activity of eltrombopag is dependent on expression of TpoR, which activates the signaling transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) and mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction pathways. The objective of this preclinical study is to determine if eltrombopag interacts selectively with the TpoR to facilitate megakaryocyte differentiation in platelets. Functional thrombopoietic activity was demonstrated by the proliferation and differentiation of primary human CD34+ bone marrow cells into CD41+ megakaryocytes. Measurements in platelets in several species indicated that eltrombopag specifically activates only the human and chimpanzee STAT pathways. The in vivo activity of eltrombopag was demonstrated by an increase of up to 100% in platelet numbers when administered orally (10 mg/kg per day for 5 days) to chimpanzees. In conclusion, eltrombopag interacts selectively with the TpoR without competing with Tpo, leading to the increased proliferation and differentiation of human bone marrow progenitor cells into megakaryocytes and increased platelet production. These results suggest that eltrombopag and Tpo may be able to act additively to increase platelet production.
Thrombopoietin receptor agonist; Megakaryocyte; Differentiation; Thrombocytopenia
Though cryopreservation of mouse sperm yields good survival and motility after thawing, cryopreservation of rat sperm remains a challenge. This study was designed to evaluate the biophysics (membrane permeability) of rat in comparison to mouse to better understand the cooling rate response that contributes to cryopreservation success or failure in these two sperm types. In order to extract subzero membrane hydraulic permeability in the presence of ice, a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) method was used. By analyzing rat and mouse sperm frozen at 5°C/min and 20°C/min, heat release signatures characteristic of each sperm type were obtained and correlated to cellular dehydration. The dehydration response was then fit to a model of cellular water transport (dehydration) by adjusting cell-specific biophysical (membrane hydraulic permeability) parameters Lpg and ELp. A “combined fit” (to 5°C/min and 20°C/min data) for rat sperm in Biggers-Whitten-Whittingham media yielded Lpg = 0.007 μm min−1 atm−1 and ELp = 17.8 kcal/mol, and in egg yolk cryopreservation media yielded Lpg = 0.005 μm min−1 atm−1 and ELp = 14.3 kcal/mol. These parameters, especially the activation energy, were found to be lower than previously published parameters for mouse sperm. In addition, the biophysical responses in mouse and rat sperm were shown to depend on the constituents of the cryopreservation media, in particular egg yolk and glycerol. Using these parameters, optimal cooling rates for cryopreservation were predicted for each sperm based on a criteria of 5%–15% normalized cell water at −30°C during freezing in cryopreservation media. These predicted rates range from 53°C/min to 70°C/min and from 28°C/min to 36°C/min in rat and mouse, respectively. These predictions were validated by comparison to experimentally determined cryopreservation outcomes, in this case based on motility. Maximum motility was obtained with freezing rates between 50°C/min and 80°C/min for rat and at 20°C/min with a sharp drop at 50°C/min for mouse. In summary, DSC experiments on mouse and rat sperm yielded a difference in membrane permeability parameters in the two sperm types that, when implemented in a biophysical model of water transport, reasonably predict different optimal cooling rate outcomes for each sperm after cryopreservation.
Rat and mouse sperm biophysics predict different optimal cooling rates for freezing that are corroborated by post-thaw motility.
cryopreservation; DSC; motility; mouse sperm; rat sperm
As a relatively non-regenerative tissue, articular cartilage has been targeted for cryopreservation as a method of mitigating a lack of donor tissue availability for transplant surgeries. In addition, subzero storage of articular cartilage has long been used in biomedical studies using various storage temperatures. The current investigation studies the potential for freeze-thaw to affect the mechanical properties of articular cartilage through direct comparison of various subzero storage temperatures.
Both subzero storage temperature as well as freezing rate were compared using control samples (4°C) and samples stored at either -20°C or -80°C as well as samples first snap frozen in liquid nitrogen (-196°C) prior to storage at -80°C. All samples were thawed at 37.5°C to testing temperature (22°C). Complex stiffness and hysteresis characterized load resistance and damping properties using a non-destructive, low force magnitude, dynamic indentation protocol spanning a broad loading rate range to identify the dynamic viscoelastic properties of cartilage.
Stiffness levels remained unchanged with exposure to the various subzero temperatures. Hysteresis increased in samples snap frozen at -196°C and stored at -80°C, though remained unchanged with exposure to the other storage temperatures.
Mechanical changes shown are likely due to ice lens creation, where frost heave effects may have caused collagen damage. That storage to -20°C and -80°C did not alter the mechanical properties of articular cartilage shows that when combined with a rapid thawing protocol to 37.5°C, the tissue may successfully be stored at subzero temperatures.
Dental pulp is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells with the potential for cell-mediated therapies and tissue engineering applications. We recently reported that isolation of dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSC) is feasible for at least 120 hours after tooth extraction, and that cryopreservation of early-passage cultured DPSC leads to high-efficiency recovery post thaw. This study investigated additional processing and cryobiological characteristics of DPSC, ending with development of procedures for banking. First, we aimed to optimize cryopreservation of established DPSC cultures, with regards to optimizing the cryoprotective agent (CPA), the CPA concentration, the concentration of cells frozen, and storage temperatures. Secondly, we focused on determining cryopreservation characteristics of enzymatically digested tissue as a cell suspension. Lastly, we evaluated the growth, surface markers and differentiation properties of DPSC obtained from intact teeth and undigested, whole dental tissue frozen and thawed using the optimized procedures. In these experiments it was determined that Me2SO at a concentration between 1 and 1.5M was the ideal cryopreservative of the three studied. It was also determined that DPSC viability after cryopreservation is not limited by the concentration of cells frozen, at least up to 2 × 106 cells/mL. It was further established that DPSC can be stored at −85°C or −196°C for at least six months without loss of functionality. The optimal results with the least manipulation were achieved by isolating and cryopreserving the tooth pulp tissues, with digestion and culture performed post-thaw. A recovery of cells from >85% of the tissues frozen was achieved and cells isolated post thaw from tissue processed and frozen with a serum free, defined cryopreservation medium maintained morphological and developmental competence and demonstrated MSC-hallmark trilineage differentiation under the appropriate culture conditions.
Mesenchymal stem cells; dental pulp stem cells; adult stem cells; cryopreservation; tissue engineering; stem cell banking
Thrombopoietin (Tpo) is the primary cytokine regulating megakaryocyte development and platelet production. Tpo signaling through its receptor, c-mpl, activates multiple pathways including signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3, STAT5, phosphoinositide 3-kinase–Akt, and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). The adaptor protein Lnk is implicated in cytokine receptor and immunoreceptor signaling. Here, we show that Lnk overexpression negatively regulates Tpo-mediated cell proliferation and endomitosis in hematopoietic cell lines and primary hematopoietic cells. Lnk attenuates Tpo-induced S-phase progression in 32D cells expressing mpl, and Lnk decreases Tpo-dependent megakaryocyte growth in bone marrow (BM)–derived megakaryocyte culture. Consistent with this result, we found that in both BM and spleen, Lnk-deficient mice exhibited increased numbers of megakaryocytes with increased ploidy compared with wild-type mice. In addition, Lnk-deficient megakaryocytes derived from BM and spleen showed enhanced sensitivity to Tpo during culture. The absence of Lnk caused enhanced and prolonged Tpo induction of STAT3, STAT5, Akt, and MAPK signaling pathways in CD41+ megakaryocytes. Furthermore, the Src homology 2 domain of Lnk is essential for Lnk's inhibitory function. In contrast, the conserved tyrosine near the COOH terminus is dispensable and the pleckstrin homology domain of Lnk contributes to, but is not essential for, inhibiting Tpo-dependent 32D cell growth or megakaryocyte development. Thus, Lnk negatively modulates mpl signaling pathways and is important for Tpo-mediated megakaryocytopoiesis in vivo.
hematopoiesis; megakaryocytes; cytokine receptors; cell proliferation; endomitosis
Among the challenges associated with vitrification of cells, a major roadblock is the requirement of high concentrations of cryoprotectant (CPA) chemicals and the damages caused by prolonged exposure of cells to these high concentrations above the glass transition temperature. These effects are minimized with controlled CPA loading. Certain organic oils, such as soybean oil, are made of triacylglycerols and are capable of dissolving small amounts of water, a property which enhances significantly with temperature. This phenomenon was exploited here to accomplish temperature controlled concentration of glycerol in single water droplets dispersed in the organic phase. Emulsions of aqueous solutions of glycerol in soybean oil were made and subjected to temperature increase of 10 °C from room temperature. Upon increasing temperature, water dissolved into the oil rendering the 15–20 micron droplets concentrated an average of 3.6 times and 2.6 times for 1M and 2M starting concentrations respectively with the oil-insoluble glycerol in 90 – 110 seconds. This phenomenon could be used to dynamically concentrate CPAs within cell-containing droplets which may then be vitrified before being exposed to high temperatures for fatally long times.
The low strain-rate viscosity of glass-forming cryoprotective agents (CPAs) in the vicinity of the glass transition is studied experimentally. Data on the mechanical behavior in this regime is necessary to the long-term goal of developing planning tools for cryopreservation via vitrification (vitreous means glassy in Latin); such tools will provide guidelines for reducing thermal stress with its devastating effects. While the flow behavior of some glass-forming CPAs is well documented in the literature for the upper part of the cryogenic temperature range (where the CPA has a comparatively low viscosity), it is the flow behavior near the glass transition temperature (where the CPA behaves as nearly a solid with an extremely high viscosity) which is critical to the analysis of stress that develops in the cryopreserved material. If the elevated viscosity limits the material's ability to flow—in order to accommodate the thermal strain resulting from large temperature gradients, especially at the high cooling rates necessary to form glass—structural damage may follow. Information on the behavior of the CPA in the lower part of the cryogenic temperature range is largely unavailable. A new measurement device is presented in this study, in which a solid rod is pulled from a long narrow cup containing a CPA, producing an essentially one-dimensional and isothermal field of flow. The viscosity and relaxation time of the CPA is inferred from measurements of the resulting load on the rod when extracted at a constant velocity. The current study reports on experimental data near glass transition of 7.05M DMSO, a reference CPA solution, and the CPA cocktails VS55 and DP6.
Viscosity; Glass Transition; Cryoprotective Agents; DMSO; DP6; VS55; Experimental Study
Conventional cryopreservation protocols for slow-freezing or vitrification involve cell injury due to ice formation/cell dehydration or toxicity of high cryoprotectant (CPA) concentrations, respectively. In this study, we developed a novel cryopreservation technique to achieve ultra-fast cooling rates using a quartz microcapillary (QMC). The QMC enabled vitrification of murine embryonic stem (ES) cells using an intracellular cryoprotectant concentration in the range used for slowing freezing (1–2 M). The cryoprotectants used included 2 M 1,2-propanediol (PROH, cell membrane permeable) and 0.5 M extracellular trehalose (cell membrane impermeable). More than 70% of the murine ES cells post-vitrification attached with respect to non-frozen control cells, and the proliferation rates of the two groups were similar. Preservation of undifferentiated properties of the pluripotent murine ES cells post vitrification cryopreservation was verified using three different types of assays: the expression of transcription factor Oct-4, the presentation of the membrane surface glycoprotein SSEA-1, and the elevated expression of the intracellular enzyme alkaline phosphatase. These results indicate that vitrification at a low concentration (2 M) of intracellular cryoprotectants is a viable and effective approach for the cryopreservation of murine embryonic stem cells.
Cryopreservation; vitrification; 1,2-propanediol; trehalose; murine ES cells; quartz microcapillary; plastic straw