Cryopreservation of the Kidney: A Feasibility Study Based on Cooling Rates
Malvica, Erica; Salter, Ben; Verma, Kush; Watkins, Tara; Shauhgnesy, Michael
This project models the cryopreservation of a kidney submerged in liquid nitrogen. Attempts to cryopreserve whole organs have been unsuccessful in the past due to the formation of ice crystals in the intracellular fluid, which cause damage to the cells. Damage can be avoided if cells are vitrified, which causes the intracellular fluid to form a glassy solid rather than ice crystals. The vitrification process is hard to achieve because it generally requires very high cooling rates, but it is aided by the addition of cryoprotectants. This study used Gambit TM and FidapTM software to model cooling rates using different concentrations of glycerol as a cryoprotectant. The concentrations of glycerol were varied to maximize vitrification, and thus cell survival. The results of this study show that the addition of cryoprotectant does alter the cooling rate. Cells closest to the surface of the kidney would likely have been vitrified while cells closer to the center had a slower cooling rate and would most likely have formed ice crystals. Cell survival is predicted to be highest for the 2M concentration of glycerol; however, higher concentrations should be avoided to prevent cell toxicity.