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1.  Cryoprotectant Delivery and Removal from Murine Insulinomas at Vitrification-Relevant Concentrations 
Cryobiology  2007;55(1):10-18.
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.
PMCID: PMC2764458  PMID: 17533114
Cryopreservation; Vitrification; Membrane permeability; Mouse insulinomas; Cryoprotectant addition-removal; Cryoprotectant cytotoxicity
2.  Cellular Biophysics During Freezing of Rat and Mouse Sperm Predicts Post-thaw Motility1 
Biology of Reproduction  2009;81(4):700-706.
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.
PMCID: PMC2754885  PMID: 19535788
cryopreservation; DSC; motility; mouse sperm; rat sperm
3.  Permeability of the Rhesus Monkey Oocyte Membrane to Water and Common Cryoprotectants 
Successful cryopreservation of oocytes of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) would facilitate the use of this valuable animal model in research on reproduction and development, while providing a stepping stone towards human oocyte cryopreservation and the conservation of endangered primate species. To enable rational design of cryopreservation techniques for rhesus monkey oocytes, we have determined their osmotic and permeability characteristics in the presence of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG), and propylene glycol (PROH), three widely used cryoprotectants. Using nonlinear regression to fit a membrane transport model to measurements of dynamic cell volume changes, we estimated the hydraulic conductivity (Lp) and cryoprotectant permeability (Ps) of mature and immature oocytes at 23.5°C. Mature oocyte membranes were most permeable to PROH (Ps = 0.56 ± 0.05 µm/sec) and least permeable to DMSO (Ps = 0.24 ± 0.02 µm/sec); the permeability to EG was 0.34 ± 0.07 µm/sec. In the absence of penetrating cryoprotectants, mature oocytes had Lp = 0.55 ± 0.05 µm/min/atm, whereas the hydraulic conductivity increased to 1.01 ± 0.10, 0.61 ± 0.07, or 0.86 ± 0.06 µm/min/atm when mature oocytes were exposed to DMSO, EG, or PROH, respectively. The osmotically inactive volume (Vb) in mature oocytes was19.7 ± 2.4% of the isotonic cell volume. The only statistically significant difference between mature and immature oocytes was a larger hydraulic conductivity in immature oocytes that were exposed to DMSO. The biophysical parameters measured in this study were used to demonstrate the design of cryoprotectant loading and dilution protocols by computer-aided optimization.
PMCID: PMC4141568  PMID: 18932214
4.  Dual Dependence of Cryobiogical Properties of Sf21 Cell Membrane on the Temperature and the Concentration of the Cryoprotectant 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72836.
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.
PMCID: PMC3762842  PMID: 24023781
5.  Rectification of the Water Permeability in COS-7 Cells at 22, 10 and 0°C 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23643.
The osmotic and permeability parameters of a cell membrane are essential physico-chemical properties of a cell and particularly important with respect to cell volume changes and the regulation thereof. Here, we report the hydraulic conductivity, Lp, the non-osmotic volume, Vb, and the Arrhenius activation energy, Ea, of mammalian COS-7 cells. The ratio of Vb to the isotonic cell volume, Vc iso, was 0.29. Ea, the activation energy required for the permeation of water through the cell membrane, was 10,700, and 12,000 cal/mol under hyper- and hypotonic conditions, respectively. Average values for Lp were calculated from swell/shrink curves by using an integrated equation for Lp. The curves represented the volume changes of 358 individually measured cells, placed into solutions of nonpermeating solutes of 157 or 602 mOsm/kg (at 0, 10 or 22°C) and imaged over time. Lp estimates for all six combinations of osmolality and temperature were calculated, resulting in values of 0.11, 0.21, and 0.10 µm/min/atm for exosmotic flow and 0.79, 1.73 and 1.87 µm/min/atm for endosmotic flow (at 0, 10 and 22°C, respectively). The unexpected finding of several fold higher Lp values for endosmotic flow indicates highly asymmetric membrane permeability for water in COS-7. This phenomenon is known as rectification and has mainly been reported for plant cell, but only rarely for animal cells. Although the mechanism underlying the strong rectification found in COS-7 cells is yet unknown, it is a phenomenon of biological interest and has important practical consequences, for instance, in the development of optimal cryopreservation.
PMCID: PMC3161049  PMID: 21887290
6.  Permeation of dimethyl sulfoxide into articular cartilage at subzero temperatures*  
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.
PMCID: PMC3296073  PMID: 22374614
Articular cartilage; Vitrification; Dimethyl sulfoxide; Permeation; Diffusion coefficient; Subzero temperature
7.  Development of a new rapid measurement technique for fish embryo membrane permeability studies using impedance spectroscopy 
Theriogenology  2006;66(4):982-988.
Information on fish embryo membrane permeability is vital in their cryopreservation. Whilst conventional volumetric measurement based assessment methods have been widely used in fish embryo membrane permeability studies, they are lengthy and reduce the capacity for multi-embryo measurement during an experimental run. A new rapid ‘real-time’ measurement technique is required to determine membrane permeability during cryoprotectant treatment. In this study, zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo membrane permeability to cryoprotectants was investigated using impedance spectroscopy. An embryo holding cell, capable of holding up to 10 zebrafish embryos was built incorporating the original system electrods for measuring the impedance spectra. The holding cell was tested with deionised water and a series of KCl solutions with known conductance values to confirm the performance of the modified system. Untreated intact embryos were then tested to optimise the loading capacity and sensitivity of the system. To study the impedance changes of zebrafish embryos during cryoprotectant exposure, three, six or nine embryos at 50% epiboly stage were loaded into the holding cell in egg water, which was then removed and replaced by 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 or 3 M methanol or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The impedance changes of the loaded embryos in different cryoprotectant solutions were monitored over 30 min at 22 °C, immediately following embryo exposure to cryoprotectants, at the frequency range of 10–106 Hz. The impedance changes of the embryos in egg water were used as controls. Results from this study showed that the optimum embryo loading level was six embryos per cell for each experimental run. The optimum frequency was identified at 103.14 or 1380 Hz which provided good sensitivity and reproducibility. Significant impedance changes were detected after embryos were exposed to different concentrations of cryoprotectants. The results agreed well with those obtained from conventional volumetric based studies.
PMCID: PMC1851733  PMID: 16580717
Zebrafish (Danio rerio); Embryos; Cryopreservation; Membrane permeability; Impedance spectroscopy; Cryoprotectant
8.  Development of a new rapid measurement technique for fish embryo membrane permeability studies using impedance spectroscopy 
Theriogenology  2006;66(4):982-988.
Information on fish embryo membrane permeability is vital in their cryopreservation. Whilst conventional volumetric measurement based assessment methods have been widely used in fish embryo membrane permeability studies, they are lengthy and reduce the capacity for multi-embryo measurement during an experimental run. A new rapid ‘real-time’ measurement technique is required to determine membrane permeability during cryoprotectant treatment. In this study, zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo membrane permeability to cryoprotectants was investigated using impedance spectroscopy. An embryo holding cell, capable of holding up to 10 zebrafish embryos was built incorporating the original system electrods for measuring the impedance spectra. The holding cell was tested with deionised water and a series of KCl solutions with known conductance values to confirm the performance of the modified system. Untreated intact embryos were then tested to optimise the loading capacity and sensitivity of the system. To study the impedance changes of zebrafish embryos during cryoprotectant exposure, three, six or nine embryos at 50% epiboly stage were loaded into the holding cell in egg water, which was then removed and replaced by 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 or 3 M methanol or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The impedance changes of the loaded embryos in different cryoprotectant solutions were monitored over 30 min at 22 °C, immediately following embryo exposure to cryoprotectants, at the frequency range of 10–106 Hz. The impedance changes of the embryos in egg water were used as controls. Results from this study showed that the optimum embryo loading level was six embryos per cell for each experimental run. The optimum frequency was identified at 103.14 or 1380 Hz which provided good sensitivity and reproducibility. Significant impedance changes were detected after embryos were exposed to different concentrations of cryoprotectants. The results agreed well with those obtained from conventional volumetric based studies.
PMCID: PMC1851733  PMID: 16580717
Zebrafish (Danio rerio); Embryos; Cryopreservation; Membrane permeability; Impedance spectroscopy; Cryoprotectant
9.  Microfluidics for Cryopreservation 
Lab on a chip  2009;9(13):1874-1881.
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.
PMCID: PMC2719835  PMID: 19532962
10.  Effects of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in Cholesterol-Containing Lipid Membranes: A Comparative Study of Experiments In Silico and with Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41733.
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has been known to enhance cell membrane permeability of drugs or DNA. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with single-component lipid bilayers predicted the existence of three regimes of action of DMSO: membrane loosening, pore formation and bilayer collapse. We show here that these modes of action are also reproduced in the presence of cholesterol in the bilayer, and we provide a description at the atomic detail of the DMSO-mediated process of pore formation in cholesterol-containing lipid membranes. We also successfully explore the applicability of DMSO to promote plasma membrane permeability to water, calcium ions (Ca2+) and Yo-Pro-1 iodide (Yo-Pro-1) in living cell membranes. The experimental results on cells in culture can be easily explained according to the three expected regimes: in the presence of low doses of DMSO, the membrane of the cells exhibits undulations but no permeability increase can be detected, while at intermediate DMSO concentrations cells are permeabilized to water and calcium but not to larger molecules as Yo-Pro-1. These two behaviors can be associated to the MD-predicted consequences of the effects of the DMSO at low and intermediate DMSO concentrations. At larger DMSO concentrations, permeabilization is larger, as even Yo-Pro-1 can enter the cells as predicted by the DMSO-induced membrane-destructuring effects described in the MD simulations.
PMCID: PMC3404987  PMID: 22848583
Cryobiology  2011;64(1):1-11.
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.
PMCID: PMC3246576  PMID: 22142903
osmotic excursions; cytotoxicity; CPA addition/removal; CPA transport; mathematical modeling; vitrification
12.  Effect of different cryoprotectant agents on spermatogenesis efficiency in cryopreserved and grafted neonatal mouse testicular tissue 
Cryobiology  2013;67(1):70-75.
Restoration of male fertility associated with use of the cryopreserved testicular tissue would be a significant advance in human and animal assisted reproductive technology. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of four different cryoprotectant agents (CPA) on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis in cryopreserved and allotransplanted neonatal mouse testicular tissue. Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS) with 5% fetal bovine serum including either 0.7 M dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), 0.7 M propylene glycol (PrOH), 0.7 M ethylene glycol (EG), or glycerol was used as the cryoprotectant solution. Donor testes were collected and dissected from neonatal pups of CD-1 mice (one day old). Freezing and seeding of the testicular whole tissues was performed using an automated controlled-rate freezer. Four fresh (non-frozen) or frozen–thawed pieces of testes were subcutaneously grafted onto the hind flank of each castrated male NCr nude recipient mouse and harvested after 3 months. Fresh neonatal testes grafts recovered from transplant sites had the most advanced rate of spermatogenesis with elongated spermatid and spermatozoa in 46.6% of seminiferous tubules and had higher levels of serum testosterone compared to all other frozen–thawed-graft groups (p < 0.05). Fresh grafts and frozen–thawed grafts in the DMSO group had the highest rate of tissue survival compared to PrOH, EG, and glycerol after harvesting (p > 0.05). The most effective CPA for the freezing and thawing of neonatal mouse testes was DMSO in comparison with EG (p < 0.05) in both pre-grafted and post-grafted tissues based on histopathological evaluation. Likewise, the highest level of serum testosterone was obtained from the DMSO CPA group compared to all other cryoprotectants evaluated (p < 0.05). The typical damage observed in the frozen–thawed grafts included disruption of the interstitial stroma, intercellular connection ruptures, and detachment of spermatogonia from the basement membrane. These findings indicate that neonatal mouse testes were most effectively preserved when frozen with HBSS medium with DMSO and that the type of CPA is a significant factor to obtain the most advanced stages of spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis after cryopreservation, thawing, and transplantation of neonatal mouse testes.
PMCID: PMC4094018  PMID: 23721968
Mouse testes; Spermatogenesis; Spermatozoa; Grafting; Cryopreservation; Testosterone
13.  Membrane Stability during Biopreservation of Blood Cells 
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.
PMCID: PMC3088732  PMID: 21566710
Biopreservation; Storage; Erythrocyte; Thrombocyte; Cryopreservation; Lyophilization; Freeze-drying; Membrane; Red blood cell; Platelet
14.  Sodium chloride and water transport in the descending limb of Henle 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1970;49(10):1838-1846.
The unique membrane characteristics of the thin descending limb of Henle (DLH) play an integral part in the operation of the countercurrent system. We examined these properties in vitro by perfusing isolated thin descending limbs of rabbits. Active transport of NaCl was ruled out by failure to demonstrate either net transport or transmembrane potential difference when perfusing with isosmolal ultrafiltrate of the same rabbit serum as the bath. Transmembrane potential was zero, and net fluid transport was -0.07 ±0.06 nl mm-1 min-1, which also is not significantly different from zero. Passive permeability coefficient for Na(PNa) was determined from the disappearance rate of 22Na from isosmolal perfusion solution. PNa was surprisingly low, 1.61 ±0.27 × 10-5 cm sec-1, a figure which is significantly less than PNa in the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT). Reflection coefficient for NaCl (σNaCl) was measured by perfusing the tubule with Na-free raffinose solution in a bath of rabbit serum to which sufficient NaCl was added to obtain conditions of zero net fluid movement. The measured σNaCl of 0.96 ±0.01 is significantly greater than σNaCl in the PCT. Water permeability to osmotic gradients (Lp) was determined by perfusing with ultrafiltrate of rabbit serum in a bath made hyperosmotic by addition of either 100 mOsm raffinose or NaCl. Lp with raffinose was 1.71 ±0.15 × 10-4 ml cm-2 sec-1 atm-1 and with NaCl 1.62 ±0.05 × 10-4 ml cm-2 sec-1 atm-1, indicating much greater water permeability than in the PCT. In each case the measured increase in osmolality of the collected fluid was primarily due to water efflux without significant influx of solute.
The finding of low permeability to sodium and high permeability to water is consonant with the hypotheses that high interstitial concentration of Na in the medulla generates an effective osmotic pressure which results in concentration of the fluid as it courses through the DLH primarily by abstraction of water without significant net entry of NaCl.
PMCID: PMC322672  PMID: 5460286
15.  Transepithelial water permeability in microperfused distal airways. Evidence for channel-mediated water transport. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;97(3):664-671.
Water movement across the airway epithelium is important for regulation of the volume and composition of airspace fluid. A novel approach is reported here to measure osmotic and diffusional water permeability in intact airways. Small airways (100-200 microns diameter, 1-2 mm length) from guinea pig lung were microdissected and perfused in vitro using concentric glass holding and perfusion pipettes. For measurement of osmotic water permeability (Pf), the airway lumen was perfused wit PBS (300 mOsM) containing a membrane impermeable fluorophore, fluorescein sulfonate (FS), and the airway was bathed in solutions of specified osmolalities. Pf determination was based on the changes in FS fluorescence at the distal end of the airway resulting from transepithelial water transport. Pf was 4-5 x 10(-3) cm/s at 23 degrees C and independent of lumen flow rate (10-100 nl/min) and the magnitude and direction of the osmotic gradient (bath osmolality 50-600 mOsM). Temperature dependence measurements gave an activation energy of 4.4 kcal/mol (15-37 degrees C). Pf was not altered by 0.3 mM HgCl2 or 50 microM forskolin, but was increased to 31 x 10(-3) cm/s by 100 micrograms/ml amphotericin B, indicating that osmosis is not limited by unstirred layers. Diffusional water permeability (Pd) was measured by H2O/D2O (deuterium oxide) exchange using the H2O/D2O-sensitive fluorescent probe aminonapthelane trisulfonic acid in the lumen. Measured Pd was 3-6 x 10(-6) cm/s at 23 degrees C, indicating significant restriction to water diffusion by unstirred layers. Antibody localization of water channels showed strong expression of the mercurial-insensitive water channel (AQP-4) at the basolateral membrane of airway epithelial cells. These results provide functional evidence that water movement across the distal airway epithelium is mediated by water channels.
PMCID: PMC507102  PMID: 8609221
16.  Cryopreservation of Composite Tissue Transplants 
Hand (New York, N.Y.)  2007;3(1):17-23.
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.
PMCID: PMC2528968  PMID: 18780115
Cryopreservation; Composite tissue transplantation; Epigastric flap
17.  Evaluation of Methylcellulose and Dimethyl Sulfoxide as the Cryoprotectants in a Serum-Free Freezing Media for Cryopreservation of Adipose-Derived Adult Stem Cells 
Stem Cells and Development  2010;19(4):513-522.
Developing effective techniques for the cryopreservation of human adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs) could increase the usefulness of these cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. To this end, we investigated the post-freeze/thaw viability and apoptotic behavior of Passage 1 (P1) adult stem cells (ASCs) in 11 different media: (i) the traditional media containing Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) with 80% fetal calf serum (FCS) and 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), (ii) DMEM with 80% human serum (HS) and 10% DMSO, (iii) DMEM with 1% methyl cellulose (MC) and 10% of either HS or FCS or DMSO, and (iv) DMEM with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% DMSO. Approximately 1 mL (106 cells/mL) of P1 ASCs were frozen overnight in a −80°C freezer and stored in liquid nitrogen for 2 weeks before being rapidly thawed in a 37°C water bath (1–2 min of agitation), resuspended in culture media, and seeded in separate wells of a 6-well plate for a 24-h incubation period at 37°C. After 24 h, the thawed samples were analyzed by bright-field microscopy and flow cytometry. The results suggest that the absence of DMSO (and the presence of MC) significantly increases the fraction of apoptotic and/or necrotic ASCs. However, the percentage of viable cells obtained with 2% DMSO and DMEM was comparable with that obtained in freezing media with 10% DMSO and 80% serum (HS or FCS), that is, ∼84% ± 5% and ∼84% ± 8%, respectively. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation behavior of the frozen thawed cells was also assessed using histochemical staining. Our results suggest that post-thaw ASC viability, adipogenic and osteogenic differentiability can be maintained even when they are frozen in the absence of serum but with a minimal concentration of 2% DMSO in DMEM.
PMCID: PMC3139530  PMID: 19788372
18.  Two-Step Freezing Procedure for Cryopreservation of Rumen Ciliates, an Effective Tool for Creation of a Frozen Rumen Protozoa Bank 
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.
PMCID: PMC165129  PMID: 12839750
19.  Thermomechanical analysis of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions in engineered tissues 
Successful cryopreservation of functional engineered tissues (ETs) is significant to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but it is extremely challenging to develop a successful protocol because the effects of cryopreservation parameters on the post-thaw functionality of ETs are not well understood. Particularly, the effects on the microstructure of their extracellular matrix (ECM) have not been well studied, which determines many functional properties of the ETs. In this study, we investigated the effects of two key cryopreservation parameters – i) freezing temperature and corresponding cooling rate; and ii) the concentration of cryoprotective agent (CPA) on the ECM microstructure as well as the cellular viability. Using dermal equivalent as a model ET and DMSO as a model CPA, freezing-induced spatiotemporal deformation and post-thaw ECM microstructure of ETs was characterized while varying the freezing temperature and DMSO concentrations. The spatial distribution of cellular viability and the cellular actin cytoskeleton was also examined. The results showed that the tissue dilatation increased significantly with reduced freezing temperature (i.e., rapid freezing). A maximum limit of tissue deformation was observed for preservation of ECM microstructure, cell viability and cell-matrix adhesion. The dilatation decreased with the use of DMSO, and a freezing temperature dependent threshold concentration of DMSO was observed. The threshold DMSO concentration increased with lowering freezing temperature. In addition, an analysis was performed to delineate thermodynamic and mechanical components of freezing-induced tissue deformation. The results are discussed to establish a mechanistic understanding of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interaction and phase change behavior within ETs in order to improve cryopreservation of ETs.
PMCID: PMC3586257  PMID: 23246556
Cryopreservation; Tissue microstructure; Extracellular matrix; Cell image deformetry; Differential scanning calorimetry; Cryoprotective agents
20.  Osmotic Loading of Spherical Gels: A Biomimetic Study of Hindered Transport in the Cell Protoplasm 
Osmotic loading of cells has been used to investigate their physicochemical properties as well as their biosynthetic activities. The classical Kedem-Katchalsky framework for analyzing cell response to osmotic loading, which models the cell as a fluid-filled membrane, does not generally account for the possibility of partial volume recovery in response to loading with a permeating osmolyte, as observed in some experiments. The cell may be more accurately represented as a hydrated gel surrounded by a semi-permeable membrane, with the gel and membrane potentially exhibiting different properties. To help assess whether this more elaborate model of the cell is justified, this study investigates the response of spherical gels to osmotic loading, both from experiments and theory. The spherical gel is described using the framework of mixture theory. In the experimental component of the study alginate is used as the model gel, and is osmotically loaded with dextran solutions of various concentrations and molecular weight, to verify the predictions from the theoretical analysis. Results show that the mixture framework can accurately predict the transient and equilibrium response of alginate gels to osmotic loading with dextran solutions. It is found that the partition coefficient of dextran in alginate regulates the equilibrium volume response and can explain partial volume recovery based on passive transport mechanisms. The validation of this theoretical framework facilitates future investigations of the role of the protoplasm in the response of cells to osmotic loading.
PMCID: PMC2828939  PMID: 17655471
21.  Transalveolar osmotic and diffusional water permeability in intact mouse lung measured by a novel surface fluorescence method  
The Journal of General Physiology  1996;108(3):133-142.
A surface fluorescence method was developed to measure transalveolar transport of water, protons, and solutes in intact perfused lungs. Lungs from c57 mice were removed and perfused via the pulmonary artery (approximately 2 ml/min). The airspace was filled via the trachea with physiological saline containing a membrane-impermeant fluorescent indicator (FITC-dextran or aminonapthalene trisulfonic acid, ANTS). Because fluorescence is detected only near the lung surface due to light absorption by lung tissue, the surface fluorescence signal is directly proportional to indicator concentration. Confocal microscopy confirmed that the fluorescence signal arises from fluorophores in alveoli just beneath the pleural surface. Osmotic water permeability (Pf) was measured from the time course of intraalveolar FITC-dextran fluorescence in response to changes in perfusate osmolality. Transalveolar Pf was 0.017 +/- 0.001 cm/s at 23 degrees C, independent of the solute used to induce osmosis (sucrose, NaCl, urea), independent of osmotic gradient size and direction, weakly temperature dependent (Arrhenius activation energy 5.3 kcal/mol) and inhibited by HgCl2. Pf was not affected by cAMP activation but was decreased by 43% in lung exposed to hyperoxia for 5 d. Diffusional water permeability (Pd) and Pf were measured in the same lung from intraalveolar ANTS fluorescence, which increased by 1.8-fold upon addition of 50% D2O to the perfusate, Pd was 1.3 x 10(-5) cm/s at 23 degrees C. Transalveolar proton transport was measured from FITC-dextran fluorescence upon switching perfusate pH between 7.4 and 5.6; alveolar pH half-equilibrated in 1.9 and 1.0 min without and with HCO3-, respectively. These results indicate high transalveolar water permeability in mouse lung, implicating the involvement of molecular water channels, and establish a quantitative surface fluorescence method to measure water and solute permeabilities in intact lung.
PMCID: PMC2229323  PMID: 8882859
22.  Controlled loading of cryoprotectants (CPAs) to oocyte with linear and complex CPA profiles on a microfluidic platform† 
Lab on a chip  2011;11(20):3530-3537.
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.
PMCID: PMC3755277  PMID: 21887438
23.  Cryopreservation of Preimplantation Embryos of Cattle, Sheep, and Goats 
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.
PMCID: PMC3211119  PMID: 21847080
24.  Preserving and Using Germplasm and Dissociated Embryonic Cells for Conserving Caribbean and Pacific Coral 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33354.
Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented degradation due to human activities, and protecting specific reef habitats may not stop this decline, because the most serious threats are global (i.e., climate change), not local. However, ex situ preservation practices can provide safeguards for coral reef conservation. Specifically, modern advances in cryobiology and genome banking could secure existing species and genetic diversity until genotypes can be introduced into rehabilitated habitats. We assessed the feasibility of recovering viable sperm and embryonic cells post-thaw from two coral species, Acropora palmata and Fungia scutaria that have diffferent evolutionary histories, ecological niches and reproductive strategies. In vitro fertilization (IVF) of conspecific eggs using fresh (control) spermatozoa revealed high levels of fertilization (>90% in A. palmata; >84% in F. scutaria; P>0.05) that were unaffected by tested sperm concentrations. A solution of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at cooling rates of 20 to 30°C/min most successfully cryopreserved both A. palmata and F. scutaria spermatozoa and allowed producing developing larvae in vitro. IVF success under these conditions was 65% in A. palmata and 53% in F. scutaria on particular nights; however, on subsequent nights, the same process resulted in little or no IVF success. Thus, the window for optimal freezing of high quality spermatozoa was short (∼5 h for one night each spawning cycle). Additionally, cryopreserved F. scutaria embryonic cells had∼50% post-thaw viability as measured by intact membranes. Thus, despite some differences between species, coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells are viable after low temperature (−196°C) storage, preservation and thawing. Based on these results, we have begun systematically banking coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells on a large-scale as a support approach for preserving existing bio- and genetic diversity found in reef systems.
PMCID: PMC3297639  PMID: 22413020
25.  Proton translocation coupled to dimethyl sulfoxide reduction in anaerobically grown Escherichia coli HB101. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1985;163(1):369-375.
Proton translocation coupled to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) reduction was examined in Escherichia coli HB101 grown anaerobically on glycerol and DMSO. Rapid acidification of the medium was observed when an anaerobic suspension of cells, preincubated with glycerol, was pulsed with DMSO, methionine sulfoxide, nitrate, or trimethylamine N-oxide. The DMSO-induced acidification was sensitive to the uncoupler carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (60 microM) and was inhibited by the quinone analog 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxy-quinoline-N-oxide (5.6 microM). Neither sodium azide nor potassium cyanide inhibited the DMSO response. An apparent----H+/2e- ratio of 2.9 was obtained for DMSO reduction with glycerol as the reductant. Formate and H2(g), but not lactate, could serve as alternate electron donors for DMSO reduction. Cells grown anaerobically on glycerol and fumarate displayed a similar response to pulses of DMSO, methionine sulfoxide, nitrate, and trimethylamine N-oxide with either glycerol or H2(g) as the electron donor. However, fumarate pulses did not result in acidification of the suspension medium. Proton translocation coupled to DMSO reduction was also demonstrated in membrane vesicles by fluorescence quenching. The addition of DMSO to hydrogen-saturated everted membrane vesicles resulted in a carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenyl-hydrazone-sensitive fluorescence quenching of quinacrine dihydrochloride. The data indicate that reduction of DMSO by E. coli is catalyzed by an anaerobic electron transport chain, resulting in the formation of a proton motive force.
PMCID: PMC219123  PMID: 2989249

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