Investigating cryoinjury using simulations and experiments: 1. TF-1 cells during two-step freezing (rapid cooling interrupted with a hold time)

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  • There is significant interest in designing a cryopreservation protocol for hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) which does not rely on dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO) as a cryoprotectant. Computer simulations that describe cellular osmotic responses during cooling and warming can be used to optimize the viability of cryopreserved HSC; however, a better understanding of cellular osmotic parameters is required for these simulations. As a model for HSC, the erythroleukemic human cell line TF-1 was used in this study. Simulations, based on the osmotic properties of TF-1 cells and on the solution properties of the intra- and extracellular compartments, were used to interpret cryoinjury associated with a two-step cryopreservation protocol. Calculated intracellular supercooling was used as an indicator of cryoinjury related to intracellular ice formation. Simulations were applied to the two-step cooling protocol (rapid cooling interrupted with a hold time) for TF-1 cells in the absence of Me2SO or other cryoprotectants and optimized by minimizing the indicator of cryoinjury. A comparison of simulations and experimental measurements of membrane integrity supports the concept that, for two-step cooling, increasing intracellular supercooling is the primary contributor to potential freezing injury due to the increase in the likelihood of intracellular ice formation. By calculating intracellular supercooling for each step separately and comparing these calculations with cell recovery data, it was demonstrated that it is not optimal simply to limit overall supercooling during two-step freezing procedures. More aptly, appropriate limitations of supercooling differ from the first step to the second step. This study also demonstrates why high cell recovery after cryopreservation could be achieved in the absence of traditional cryoprotectants.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2010 Elsevier. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • L.U. Ross-Rodriguez, J.A.W. Elliott, L.E. McGann, "Investigating cryoinjury using simulations and experiments. 1: TF-1 cells during two-step freezing (rapid cooling interrupted with a hold time)" Cryobiology 61(1) 38-45 (2010).